Meaning of PRIMITIVE in English


/ ˈprɪmətɪv; NAmE / adjective , noun

■ adjective


[ usually before noun ] belonging to a very simple society with no industry, etc. :

primitive tribes

primitive beliefs


[ usually before noun ] belonging to an early stage in the development of humans or animals :

primitive man


very simple and old-fashioned, especially when sth is also not convenient and comfortable

SYN crude :

The methods of communication used during the war were primitive by today's standards.

The facilities on the campsite were very primitive.


[ 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

►  primi·tive·ly adverb

►  primi·tive·ness noun [ U ]

■ noun


an artist of the period before the Renaissance; an example of work from this period


an artist who paints in a very simple style like a child; an example of the work of such an artist



late Middle English (in the sense original, not derivative ): from Old French primitif , -ive , from Latin primitivus first of its kind, from primus first.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.