Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being first in time; original; primeval.
  • adjective Of first importance; primary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Primary; first in time, order, or importance; original; primitive.
  • [capitalized] In geology, the earliest of H. D. Rogers's divisions of the Paleozoic series of Pennsylvania, equivalent to the Potsdam sandstone of the New York Survey.
  • In natural history, specifically, of or pertaining to the kingdom Primalia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective First; primary; original; chief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Being the first in time, or history.
  • adjective Being of greatest importance; primary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective serving as an essential component
  • adjective having existed from the beginning; in an earliest or original stage or state

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Medieval Latin prīmālis, from Latin prīmus, first; see per in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin primalis, from primus, first.

Examples

  • I like using the term primal scream in advocating the end of homelessness, because it instills a sense of desperation in an economic system that is sadly spewing out homelessness in cities around the world.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • But here we may be questioned about these numbers which we describe as the primal and authentic:

    The Six Enneads.

  • She could comprehend certain primal and analogous characteristics in a hungry wolf-dog or a starving man, and predicate lines of action to be pursued by either under like conditions.

    THE SCORN OF WOMEN

  • She could comprehend certain primal and analogous characteristics in a hungry wolf-dog or a starving man, and predicate lines of action to be pursued by either under like conditions.

    Jack London Play:The Scorn of Women

  • There's a mental picture for you - Ahmadinejad in primal scream therapy with Lindsay Lohan. paschendale191 …

    More Elections - Swampland - TIME.com

  • Humans have twin primal urges: to fear change for themselves yet want it for others.

    USATODAY.com - The more things change in sports, do things stay same?

  • She could comprehend certain primal and analogous characteristics in a hungry wolf-dog or a starving man, and predicate lines of action to be pursued by either under like conditions.

    The Scorn of Women

  • She hadn't told me any of that, but apparently, my intuition was spot on because at that point Joanne curled up in a ball and started sobbing uncontrollably and nearly dry heaving in what I can best describe as primal agony.

    Mark Goulston, M.D.: Is Daddy An A-Hole?

  • She hadn't told me any of that, but apparently, my intuition was spot on because at that point Joanne curled up in a ball and started sobbing uncontrollably and nearly dry heaving in what I can best describe as primal agony.

    Mark Goulston, M.D.: Is Daddy An A-Hole?

  • So that when we come to look at liberalism in a critical spirit, we have to expect that there will be a discrepancy between what I have called the primal imagination of liberalism and its present particular imagination.

    Principles of Literary Criticism

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