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PRIMITIVE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does primitive mean? 

PRIMITIVE (noun)
  The noun PRIMITIVE has 3 senses:

1. a person who belongs to an early stage of civilization
2. a mathematical expression from which another expression is derived
3. a word serving as the basis for inflected or derived forms

  Familiarity information: PRIMITIVE used as a noun is uncommon.


PRIMITIVE (adjective)
  The adjective PRIMITIVE has 4 senses:

1. belonging to an early stage of technical development; characterized by simplicity and (often) crudeness
2. little evolved from or characteristic of an earlier ancestral type
3. used of preliterate or tribal or nonindustrial societies
4. of or created by one without formal training; simple or naive in style

  Familiarity information: PRIMITIVE used as an adjective is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


PRIMITIVE (noun)


Sense 1primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A person who belongs to an early stage of civilization

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Synonyms:

primitive; primitive person

Hypernyms ("primitive" is a kind of...):

individual; mortal; person; somebody; someone; soul (a human being)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "primitive"):

Aryan; Indo-European (a member of the prehistoric people who spoke Proto-Indo European)

barbarian; savage (a member of an uncivilized people)

Piltdown hoax; Piltdown man (a supposedly primitive man later proven to be a hoax)

Mound Builder (prehistoric Amerindians who built altar mounds)

ape-man; missing link (hypothetical organism formerly thought to be intermediate between apes and human beings)

Heidelberg man; Homo heidelbergensis (a type of primitive man who lived in Europe)

cave dweller; cave man; caveman; troglodyte (someone who lives in a cave)

Basket Maker (early Amerindians related to the Pueblo; known for skill in making baskets)

aborigine; autochthon (the earliest known inhabitants of a region)

feral man; wild man (a person who is not socialized)


Sense 2primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A mathematical expression from which another expression is derived

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("primitive" is a kind of...):

expression; formula (a group of symbols that make a mathematical statement)


Sense 3primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A word serving as the basis for inflected or derived forms

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

'pick' is the primitive from which 'picket' is derived

Hypernyms ("primitive" is a kind of...):

word (a unit of language that native speakers can identify)


PRIMITIVE (adjective)


Sense 1primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Belonging to an early stage of technical development; characterized by simplicity and (often) crudeness

Synonyms:

primitive; crude; rude

Context examples:

the crude weapons and rude agricultural implements of early man / primitive movies of the 1890s / primitive living conditions in the Appalachian mountains

Similar:

early (being or occurring at an early stage of development)


Sense 2primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Little evolved from or characteristic of an earlier ancestral type

Synonyms:

primitive; archaic

Context examples:

archaic forms of life / primitive mammals / the okapi is a short-necked primitive cousin of the giraffe

Similar:

early (being or occurring at an early stage of development)


Sense 3primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Used of preliterate or tribal or nonindustrial societies

Context example:

primitive societies

Similar:

noncivilised; noncivilized (not having a high state of culture and social development)

Domain category:

anthropology (the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of human beings)


Sense 4primitive [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Of or created by one without formal training; simple or naive in style

Synonyms:

naive; primitive

Context example:

primitive art such as that by Grandma Moses is often colorful and striking

Similar:

untrained (not disciplined or conditioned or made adept by training)

Domain category:

beaux arts; fine arts (the study and creation of visual works of art)


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 PRIMITIVE: related words searches 

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