Definitions

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

  • adj. Being or happening first in sequence of time; original.
  • adj. Primary or fundamental: play a primordial role.
  • adj. Biology Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or a part: primordial cells.
  • n. A basic principle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. first, earliest or original
  • adj. characteristic of the earliest stage of the development of an organism, or relating to a primordium
  • adj. primeval
  • n. A first principle or element.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. First in order; primary; original; of earliest origin.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the lowest beds of the Silurian age, corresponding to the Acadian and Potsdam periods in American geology. It is called also Cambrian, and by many geologists is separated from the Silurian.
  • adj. Originally or earliest formed in the growth of an individual or organ
  • n. A first principle or element.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • First in order; earliest; original; primitive; existing from the beginning.
  • In anatomy, primitive; formative; in a rudimentary or embryonic state: opposed to definitive, or final, completed, or perfected: as, the primordial skull of man is partly membranous, partly cartilaginous.
  • In botany, first formed: applied to the first true leaves formed by a young plant, also to the first fruit produced on a raceme or spike.
  • In geology, containing the earliest traces of life.
  • Synonyms Prime, etc. See primary.
  • n. A first principle or element.

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

  • adj. 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

Middle English, from Late Latin prīmōrdiālis, from Latin prīmōrdium, origin : prīmus, first; see per1 in Indo-European roots + ōrdīrī, to begin to weave; see ar- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin prīmōrdiālis ("of the beginning"). Confer primordium and -al.

Examples

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