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Definition of 'primitive'

Characterized by simplicity, primitiveness, or a lack of complexity or sophistication.
"The primitive tools discovered by archaeologists shed light on ancient hunting techniques."

Detailed Meaning of 'primitive'

It refers to a state or condition that is basic, rudimentary, or undeveloped, often associated with early stages of human civilization or technological advancement. When something is described as primitive, it suggests a lack of refinement, advanced knowledge, or modern conveniences. It can pertain to simple or crude forms of tools, techniques, or structures, typically associated with ancient cultures or early stages of human history. Primitive can also describe behaviors, instincts, or characteristics that are considered basic, innate, or primal. The term is often used to denote a contrast with more advanced, refined, or complex systems, ideas, or societies. It carries connotations of simplicity, rawness, or a state closer to nature or the origins of humanity.


Examples of 'primitive' in a Sentence

1. The cave paintings provide a glimpse into primitive artistic expressions of early humans.
2. The tribe relied on primitive farming methods for sustenance.
3. The primitive shelter was constructed using branches and leaves.
4. The primitive language consisted of basic sounds and gestures.
5. The primitive tribespeople lived in harmony with nature, relying on hunting and gathering for survival.
6. The ancient civilization's writing system was rudimentary and primitive compared to modern alphabets.

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Origins & Etymology of 'primitive'

The adjective 'primitive' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'primitivus,' which is derived from 'primus,' meaning 'first.' In Latin, 'primitivus' denoted something that was first or original in nature, often carrying the connotation of simplicity and lack of complexity. As this term transitioned into Old French as 'primitif,' and later into Middle English, it retained its essential meaning of being characterized by simplicity, primitiveness, or a lack of complexity or sophistication. The etymology of 'primitive' underscores its connection to the idea of being one of the earliest forms or states of something, often reflecting a straightforward and unrefined nature.

How to pronounce primitive (audio)


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