I. pri ‧ ma ‧ ry 1 S2 W2 AC /ˈpraɪm ə ri $ -meri/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: primarius , from primus ; ⇨ ↑ prime 1 ]
1 . [usually before noun] most important SYN main :
Our primary concern is to provide the refugees with food and health care.
Many of the villagers rely on fishing as their primary source of income.
Their primary objective is to make money.
Personal safety is of primary importance.
2 . [only before noun] especially British English relating to the education of children between 5 and 11 years old SYN elementary American English ⇨ secondary :
a primary teacher
teaching at primary level
3 . happening or developing before other things:
a primary tumour
Counselling was given as a primary therapy for depression.
II. primary 2 BrE AmE noun ( plural primaries ) [countable]
1 . a primary election
2 . British English a primary school