Pronunciation: (prim'i-tiv),[key] —adj. 1. being the first or earliest of the kind or in existence, esp. in an early age of the world: primitive forms of life. 2. early in the history of the world or of humankind.
3. characteristic of early ages or of an early state of human development: primitive toolmaking. 4. Anthropol.of or pertaining to a preliterate or tribal people having cultural or physical similarities with their early ancestors: no longer in technical use.
5. unaffected or little affected by civilizing influences; uncivilized; savage: primitive passions. 6. being in its earliest period; early: the primitive phase of the history of a town. 7. old-fashioned: primitive ideas and habits. 8. simple; unsophisticated: a primitive farm implement. 9. crude; unrefined: primitive living conditions. 10. Ling. a. of or pertaining to a form from which a word or other linguistic form is derived; not derivative; original or radical.
b. of or pertaining to a protolanguage.
c. of or pertaining to a linguistic prime.
11. primary, as distinguished from secondary.
12. Biol. a. rudimentary; primordial.
b. noting species, varieties, etc., only slightly evolved from early antecedent types.
c. of early formation and temporary, as a part that subsequently disappears.
—n. 1. someone or something primitive.
2. Fine Arts. a. an artist of a preliterate culture.
b. a naive or unschooled artist.
c. an artist belonging to the early stage in the development of a style.
d. a work of art by a primitive artist.
3. Math. a. a geometric or algebraic form or expression from which another is derived.
b. a function of which the derivative is a given function.
4. Ling.the form from which a given word or other linguistic form has been derived, by either morphological or historical processes, as take in undertake.