Definition of primitive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈprɪmətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɪmətɪv//
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  1. 1[usually before noun] belonging to a very simple society with no industry, etc. primitive tribes primitive beliefs
  2. 2[usually before noun] belonging to an early stage in the development of humans or animals primitive man
  3. 3very simple and old-fashioned, especially when something is also not convenient and comfortable synonym crude The methods of communication used during the war were primitive by today's standards. The facilities on the campsite were very primitive. Transport remained very primitive.
  4. 4[usually before noun] (of a feeling or a desire) very strong and not based on reason, as if from the earliest period of human life a primitive instinct
  5. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘original, not derivative’): from Old French primitif, -ive, from Latin primitivus ‘first of its kind’, from primus ‘first’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: primitive

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