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1. The condition or quality of being primitive.
2. The style characteristic of a primitive artist.
a. A belief that it is best to live simply and in a natural environment.
b. A belief that the acquisitions of civilization are evil or that the earliest period of human history was the best.

prim′i·tiv·ist adj. & n.
prim′i·tiv·is′tic adj.
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.


1. the condition of being primitive
2. the notion that the value of primitive cultures is superior to that of the modern world
3. (Art Terms) the principles, characteristics, etc, of primitive art and artists
ˈprimitivist n, adj
ˌprimitivˈistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈprɪm ɪ tɪˌvɪz əm)

1. a recurrent theory or belief, as in philosophy or art, that the qualities of primitive or chronologically early cultures are superior to those of contemporary civilization.
2. the state of being primitive.
3. the qualities or style characterizing primitive art.
prim′i•tiv•ist, n.
prim`i•tiv•is′tic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the self-conscious return, for inspiration, to the archaic forms produced by non-Western cultures.
2. the practice of painting in a way alien to academic or traditional techniques, often displaying a highly individual naiveté in interpretation and treatment of subjects. Cf. archaism.primitivist, n.primitivistic, adj.
See also: Art
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.primitivism - 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"
2.primitivism - a genre characteristic of (or imitative of) primitive artists or children
genre - a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


n (Art) → naive Kunst
n (Art) (= artist)Naive(r) mf; (= work)naives Werk
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
All the time we are struggling between the rankest primitivism and the most delicate intrigue.
Students accomplished this aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, fantasy and through the vivid or dynamic application of formal elements.
Skopje Mayor and now former vice-president of SDSM, Petre Silegov, says that he and the other vice-presidents of SDSM offered their resignations to help create party policies that would verify a future win in the parliamentary election so that in Macedonia the primitivism and fascism promoted by VMRO-DPMNE in the past 15 years can finally be eliminated.
Eldar Gurbanov is one of the few artists who represent the style of primitivism on the Azerbaijani art scene.
Similarly, The Specter of the Indian could be a valuable resource for scholars working through discourses of primitivism, speculative fiction and race, and theorists of speculative philosophy looking for historical work on spectrality.
Missionary Primitivism and Chinese Modernity: The Brethren in Twentieth-Century China
Analyst Zlatko Teodosievski in Sloboden pecat reminds, that as a society, we lost for twelve years belonging to different herd: party, antiquisation, nationalistic, ethnic - all with a common denominator: primitivism, lack of education, culture, manners...
For French artists and enthusiasts, the West served as a fulcrum for the construction of an American cultural identity, offering a chance to debate ideas of primitivism and masculinity that bolstered their own colonialist discourses.
He said that attack on holy places is the act of the greatest primitivism and an anti-civilization act.
The Old Guitarist [Photo: Wikipedia] Due to his massive experimental processes, his works are classified in a number of phases such as Blue Period, African Art Primitivism, Surrealism and Neoclassicism and Synthetic Cubism.
His three further targets --'dialectical materialism, environmental determinism, and primitivism' (p4)--are more interesting insofar as they are more often wielded by political radicals.
But anarcho-primitivism is an ecological and political perspective that draws mainly upon primitivism and eco-anarchism.