primitive Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “primitive” in the English Dictionary

"primitive" in British English

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primitiveadjective

uk   /ˈprɪm.ɪ.tɪv/  us   /-t̬ɪv/
C1 relating to ​humansociety at a very early ​stage of ​development, with ​peopleliving in a ​simple way without ​machines or a writing ​system: Primitive ​racescolonized these ​islands 2,000 ​years ago. primitive man The ​spinyanteater is a ​mammal, ​although a very primitive one.C1 disapproving Primitive ​livingconditions are ​basic, ​unpleasant, and ​uncomfortable: Early ​settlers had to ​cope with very primitive ​livingconditions.

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(Definition of primitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"primitive" in American English

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primitiveadjective

 us   /ˈprɪm·ɪ·t̬ɪv/
of or ​typical of an early ​stage of ​development; not ​advanced or ​complicated in ​structure: primitive ​art/​tools The ​pioneers who ​settled the ​west had to ​cope with primitive ​livingconditions.
(Definition of primitive from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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