Definition of "primitive" []

  • Not derived from something else; primary or basic. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to an earliest or original stage or state; primeval. (adjective)
  • Being little evolved from an early ancestral type. (adjective)
  • Characterized by simplicity or crudity; unsophisticated: primitive weapons. See Synonyms at rude. (adjective)
  • Anthropology Of or relating to a nonindustrial, often tribal culture, especially one that is characterized by a low level of economic complexity: primitive societies. (adjective)
  • Of or belonging to the first or beginning; original (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Characteristic of an early state, esp in being crude or uncivilized (adjective)
  • Denoting or relating to a preliterate and nonindustrial social system (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or resembling an early stage in the evolutionary development of a particular group of organisms (adjective)
  • Showing the characteristics of primitive painters; untrained, childlike, or naive (adjective)
  • Pertaining to magmas that have experienced only small degrees of fractional crystallization or crystal contamination (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or denoting rocks formed in or before the Palaeozoic era (adjective)
  • Denoting a word from which another word is derived, as for example hope, from which hopeless is derived (adjective)
  • Of, relating to, or associated with a minority group that breaks away from a sect, denomination, or Church in order to return to what is regarded as the original simplicity of the Gospels (adjective)
  • A primitive person or thing (noun)
  • An artist whose work does not conform to traditional, academic, or avant-garde standards of Western painting, such as a painter from an African or Oceanic civilization (noun)
  • A painter of the pre-Renaissance era in European painting (noun)
  • A painter of any era whose work appears childlike or untrained (noun)
  • A work by such an artist (noun)
  • A word or concept from which another word or concept is derived (noun)
  • A curve, function, or other form from which another is derived (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "primitive" in a sentence
  • "The second operation which forms new primitive recursive functions from initial primitive recursive functions is called ˜primitive recursion™ and is formally defined as follows:"
  • "It is primitive, _but not consistently primitive_."
  • "The village was a place of stereotypes brought to life, where the word primitive bubbled to the lips."