Definitions

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

  • adjective Belonging to the first or earliest age or ages; original or ancient.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or belonging to the first ages; original; primal; primitive.
  • Synonyms Primitive, etc. See primary.

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

  • adjective Belonging to the first ages; pristine; original; primitive; primary.

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

  • adjective Belonging to the first ages.
  • adjective Primary; original.
  • adjective Primitive.

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

  • 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

[From Latin prīmaevus, early in life : prīmus, first; see per in Indo-European roots + aevum, age; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From primevous + -al. Further, primevous, from Latin primaevus ("in the first or earliest period of life"), from primus ("first") + aevum ("time, age"); see prime and age.

Examples

  • There might have been more heroic characters at the siege of Troy than Abraham Lincoln, but there was not one more strongly marked individually; not one his superior in what we call primeval craft and humor.

    The Complete Project Gutenberg Writings of Charles Dudley Warner

  • Herbert urged that he must at least admit that there was a freshness of legend and poetry in what we call the primeval peoples that is wanting now; the mythic period is gone, at any rate.

    Backlog Studies

  • There might have been more heroic characters at the siege of Troy than Abraham Lincoln, but there was not one more strongly marked individually; not one his superior in what we call primeval craft and humor.

    Backlog Studies

  • Herbert urged that he must at least admit that there was a freshness of legend and poetry in what we call the primeval peoples that is wanting now; the mythic period is gone, at any rate.

    The Complete Project Gutenberg Writings of Charles Dudley Warner

  • Martian civilization had burrowed underground at some point in primeval history, after the oceans, lakes, and rivers had dried up.

    The Spy

  • March 26, 2009 at 5: 16 am primeval is the best and the the animals are the best

    Tonight on Primeval: Raptors : SF Universe - SF Universe is your Science Fiction central. From SciFi television to movies to books and more. All the latest news, reviews and insights from SciFi experts.

  • Instead of the prime vegetables more fittingly described by the word primeval, artfully displayed in the window for the delectation of the military man and his fellow country-woman the nursemaid, honest

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • Instead of the prime vegetables more fittingly described by the word primeval, artfully displayed in the window for the delectation of the military man and his fellow country-woman the nursemaid, honest Flicoteaux exhibited full salad-bowls adorned with many a rivet, or pyramids of stewed prunes to rejoice the sight of the customer, and assure him that the word

    Lost Illusions

  • Instead of the prime vegetables more fittingly described by the word primeval, artfully displayed in the window for the delectation of the military man and his fellow country-woman the nursemaid, honest Flicoteaux exhibited full salad-bowls adorned with many a rivet, or pyramids of stewed prunes to rejoice the sight of the customer, and assure him that the word

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • The patio of his hotel room opened onto an immaculate, dew-fresh lawn, shaded by massive mango and apple trees, that descended gently to the edge of what can only be described as a primeval forest.

    Here Comes Another Lesson

Comments

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  • The smell of mud, of primeval mud, by Jove! was in my nostrils, the high stillness of the primeval forest was before my eyes.

    --Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    March 9, 2011