Meaning of PRIMITIVE in English


— primitively , adv. — primitiveness, primitivity , n.

/prim"i tiv/ , adj.

1. being the first or earliest of the kind or in existence, esp. in an early age of the world: primitive forms of life.

2. early in the history of the world or of humankind.

3. characteristic of early ages or of an early state of human development: primitive toolmaking.

4. Anthropol. of or pertaining to a preliterate or tribal people having cultural or physical similarities with their early ancestors: no longer in technical use.

5. unaffected or little affected by civilizing influences; uncivilized; savage: primitive passions.

6. being in its earliest period; early: the primitive phase of the history of a town.

7. old-fashioned: primitive ideas and habits.

8. simple; unsophisticated: a primitive farm implement.

9. crude; unrefined: primitive living conditions.

10. Ling.

a. of or pertaining to a form from which a word or other linguistic form is derived; not derivative; original or radical.

b. of or pertaining to a protolanguage.

c. of or pertaining to a linguistic prime.

11. primary, as distinguished from secondary.

12. Biol.

a. rudimentary; primordial.

b. noting species, varieties, etc., only slightly evolved from early antecedent types.

c. of early formation and temporary, as a part that subsequently disappears.


13. someone or something primitive.

14. Fine Arts.

a. an artist of a preliterate culture.

b. a naive or unschooled artist.

c. an artist belonging to the early stage in the development of a style.

d. a work of art by a primitive artist.

15. Math.

a. a geometric or algebraic form or expression from which another is derived.

b. a function of which the derivative is a given function.

16. Ling. the form from which a given word or other linguistic form has been derived, by either morphological or historical processes, as take in undertake.

[ 1350-1400; ME (n. and adj.) ( primitif ) primitivus first of its kind. See PRIME, -ITIVE ]

Syn. 1, 2. prehistoric, primal, primary, primordial, original, aboriginal, antediluvian, pristine. See prime .

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .