From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishprimitiveprim‧i‧tive1 /ˈprɪmətɪv/ ●●○ adjective 🔊 🔊 1 way of lifeSA belonging to a simple way of life that existed in the past and does not have modern industries and machines opp advanced, modern 🔊 a primitive society 🔊 a primitive nomadic tribe 🔊 the tools used by primitive man 🔊 primitive art2 not modernSIMPLE/NOT COMPLICATED something that is primitive is very simple and does not have the extra modern parts that would make it faster, better, more comfortable etc opp advanced, modern 🔊 The first station buildings were quite primitive. 🔊 The local hospital care is primitive and unreliable. 🔊 Conditions at the camp are very primitive. 🔊 a primitive steam engine3 animals/plantsSA a primitive animal or plant has a simple structure or body 🔊 primitive life-forms that live deep in the ocean 🔊 a primitive single-celled creature4 feelings primitive feelings are not based on reason, and seem to come from a part of people’s character that is ancient and animal-like 🔊 the primitive instinct of survival 🔊 primitive desires —primitively adverb —primitiveness noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpusprimitive• fossils of primitive algae• In those days, dental equipment was primitive and a visit to the dentist was a painful experience.• The cabin is primitive and lacks running water.• It was basic, primitive and very, very real.• It is a primitive but effective device for raising water from a well.• This was barter, the most primitive capitalism, and this was what we were fighting to protect.• a primitive design• But how did primitive life-forms first appear on Earth?• primitive machinery• She was threatened, and the primitive male instinct to protect what was his brought his entire body to battle-readiness within seconds.• primitive man• Mead's research focused on three primitive New Guinea tribes.• The discovery of this conodont-bearing animal suggests that at least some conodonts may be among the most primitive of vertebrates.• They are among the most primitive on bony fish, though their skeleton consists largely of cartilage.• The gingerbread house represents an existence based on the most primitive satisfactions.• We also stopped to hike on a primitive trail, up and over a short ridge to a small, isolated lake.