Meaning of “primitive” in the English Dictionary


"primitive" in English

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uk /ˈprɪm.ɪ.tɪv/ us /ˈprɪm.ə.t̬ɪv/

C1 relating to human society at a very early stage of development, with people living in a simple way without machines or a writing system:

Primitive races colonized these islands 2,000 years ago.
primitive man
The spiny anteater is a mammal, although a very primitive one.

C1 disapproving Primitive living conditions are basic, unpleasant, and uncomfortable:

Early settlers had to cope with very primitive living conditions.

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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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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 living conditions.

(Definition of “primitive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)