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a. Of or relating to an early or original stage or state; primeval: life in the primitive ocean.
b. Occurring in or characteristic of an early stage of development or evolution: fossils of primitive angiosperms from the Cretaceous Period.
c. Having developed early in the evolutionary history of a group: Hair is a primitive trait of mammals.
d. Regarded as having changed little in evolutionary history. Not in scientific use: The coelacanth is a primitive fish.
2. Characterized by simplicity or crudity; unsophisticated: primitive weapons.
3. Of or relating to a nonindustrial, often tribal culture, especially one that is characterized by an absence of literacy and a low level of economic or technological complexity: primitive societies.
4. Not derived from something else; primary or basic: "Conscious perception is ... the most primitive form of judgment" (Alfred North Whitehead).
5. Linguistics
a. Serving as the basis for derived or inflected forms: Pick is the primitive word from which picket is derived.
b. Being a protolanguage: primitive Germanic.
6. Not resulting from conscious thought or deliberation; unconscious or instinctual: primitive passions.
a. Of or created by an artist without formal training; simple or naive in style.
b. Of or relating to late medieval or pre-Renaissance European painters or sculptors.
1. A person belonging to a nonindustrial, often tribal society, especially a society characterized by a low level of economic or technological complexity.
2. Derogatory An unsophisticated or unintelligent person.
3. One that is at a low or early stage of development.
a. One belonging to an early stage in the development of an artistic trend, especially a painter of the pre-Renaissance period.
b. An artist having or affecting a simple, direct, unschooled style, as of painting.
c. A work of art created by a primitive artist.
5. Linguistics
a. A word or word element from which another word is derived by morphological or historical processes or from which inflected forms are derived.
b. A basic and indivisible unit of linguistic analysis. Also called prime.
6. Mathematics An algebraic or geometric expression from which another expression is derived.
7. Computers A basic or fundamental unit of machine instruction or translation.

[Middle English, from Old French primitif, primitive, from Latin prīmitīvus, from prīmitus, at first, from prīmus, first; see per in Indo-European roots.]

prim′i·tive·ly adv.
prim′i·tive·ness, prim′i·tiv′i·ty n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.primitiveness - a wild or unrefined state
natural state, state of nature, wild - a wild primitive state untouched by civilization; "he lived in the wild"; "they collected mushrooms in the wild"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"What I like about it is the struggle, the endeavor with one's own hands, the primitiveness of it, the realness."
But if it does not, is it beyond the realm of possibility that Northern Ireland's people will confound those critics who clearly - and disgracefully - believe in their primitiveness, and turn the other cheek to changed circumstances rather than erupting in violence?
Today, the majority of Armenian citizens are talking about the primitiveness of the authorities and its functional impotence.
I have told you the kind of technological primitiveness our generation had to endure.
On the surface, the narrator appears to condemn the unnamed man's actions, mimicking turn-of-the-century scientific discourse in concluding that his behavior and his attachment to his mother are "wild" and "primitive." The unnamed man's actions and motivations are not presumed complex, as are those of John in "The White Counterpane," but rather are read by the supposedly objective voice of Dunbar's narrator as indicative of general black primitiveness. Considering the "double-voiced" explorations of race and masculinity found throughout his work, though, we may read Dunbar's narration here as both mimicry and a mockery of the authoritative, sermonizing, and implied white voice of scientific scrutiny.
"His...position as participant-observer problematizes the collocation of modernity and primitiveness as separate and isolated temporal spheres, and his immersion in the Aran culture highlights convergences between the two spheres in a dialogic way..." (40).
Forder's depiction of this man in this way shows his mercilessness, violence, and above all primitiveness.
That is why the whole journey of man from primitiveness to modernity is akin to a journey of darkness towards light, from ignorance to knowledge.
As suggested in the title The Virtue of Nationalism, Hazony sees this type of regime as the happy medium between the primitiveness of tribalism on the one hand and the oppressiveness of imperialism on the other.
The device is cheap and small, and its availability and functionality made it popular despite its "primitiveness" compared to the iPhone or Galaxy Note.
Mallat describes how, during production, he pushed his participants to reach raw emotion and primitiveness through psychotherapy.
And finally, the book concludes by focusing on visual culture and Mudimbe's recurring attempt to elucidate how African "primitiveness" has been constructed, challenged, dismissed, and reinvented from the Renaissance to the present day.