Definition of primate noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1
    BrE BrE//ˈpraɪmeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪmeɪt//
     
    any animal that belongs to the group of mammals that includes humans, apes and monkeys See related entries: Wild mammals
  2. 2
    BrE BrE//ˈpraɪmət//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪmət//
     
    ; BrE BrE//ˈpraɪmeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪmeɪt//
     
    an archbishop (= a priest of very high rank in the Christian Church) the Primate of all England (= the Archbishop of Canterbury) See related entries: Religious people
  3. Word Origin sense 2 Middle English: from Old French primat, from Latin primas, primat- ‘of the first rank’, from primus ‘first’. sense 1 late 19th cent.: from Latin primas, primat- ‘of the first rank’, from primus ‘first’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: primate