Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “primitive”

See all translations

primitive

adjective uk   /ˈprɪm.ɪ.tɪv/ us    /-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.
More examples
(Definition of primitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of primitive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “primitive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

thug

a man who acts violently, especially to commit a crime

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More