Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various mammals of the order Primates, which consists of the lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes including humans, and is characterized by nails on the hands and feet, a short snout, and a large brain.
  • noun A bishop of highest rank in a province or country.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Relating to or characteristic of the order Primates.
  • noun The first or chief person.
  • noun A bishop of a see ranking as first in a province or provinces; a metropolitan as presiding in his province, or one of several metropolitans as presiding over others.
  • noun In zoology, a member of the order Primates; a primatial or primatic mammal, as man.

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

  • noun The chief ecclesiastic in a national church; one who presides over other bishops in a province; an archbishop.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the Primates.

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

  • noun zoology A mammal of the order Primates, including simians and prosimians.
  • noun informal A simian anthropoid; an ape, human, or large monkey.
  • noun ecclesiastical In the Catholic Church, a rare title conferred to or claimed by the sees of certain archbishops, or the highest-ranking bishop of a present or historical, usually political circonscription.
  • noun ecclesiastical In the Anglican Church, an archbishop, or the highest-ranking bishop of an ecclesiastic province.

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

  • noun any placental mammal of the order Primates; has good eyesight and flexible hands and feet
  • noun a senior clergyman and dignitary

Etymologies

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

[From New Latin Prīmātēs, order name, from Latin prīmātēs, pl. of prīmās, principal, of first rank, from prīmus, first; see per in Indo-European roots. Sense 2, from Middle English primat, from Old French, from Medieval Latin prīmās, prīmāt-, from Latin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French or French primat, from a noun use of Latin primat-, from primus ("prime, first rank")

Examples

  • The term primate was at once substituted for that of metropolitan, since the archbishops of Canterbury did not claim the right to exercise an administrative authority within the see of

    The History of England from the Norman Conquest to the Death of John (1066-1216)

  • Coalition building is a good strategy for a subordinate male in primate societies …

    Think Progress » Bayh Claims ‘There’s A Fighting Chance’ Obama Will Call For A Spending Freeze

  • These relationships, in primate societies, are maintained by grooming (which is to say, by exhibitions of care).

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • These relationships, in primate societies, are maintained by grooming (which is to say, by exhibitions of care).

    Notes on Strange Fiction: Narrative's Function (3)

  • Yes, the gentle Bonobo, that bisexual primate is to be touted as a new social engineering model.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • An ecologist, she had come to Africa to participate in primate research and to heal the deep wounds of her marriage to a brilliant English mathematician; but she soon found herself plunged into another crisis, one that threatened not only her career but also her life.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • An ecologist, she had come to Africa to participate in primate research and to heal the deep wounds of her marriage to a brilliant English mathematician; but she soon found herself plunged into another crisis, one that threatened not only her career but also her life.

    Summer Reading Suggestions from Science

  • Until now neuroscientists have assumed that in primate brains simple movements are "hard-wired" while complex behaviors are learned.

    Science Press Releases

  • Furthermore, he says, the chief networkers in primate species have been female because they are more likely to remain in the group in which they are born and give it coherence over time.

    Gutenber-e Help Page

  • (NOD/SCID) mouse-repopulating cells (SRCs), and long-term primate hematopoietic repopulating cells.

    Naturejobs - All Jobs

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Of the ~630 different primate species, 50-60 are critically endangered. Humans are primates; haven't we a responsibility to be our "brother"s' keepers? Amazonia, Eastern Brazil, Madagascar, Asia, Africa. Habitat loss is critical.

    December 5, 2010