Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: primarius, from primus; PRIME1


1 adjective
pri‧ma‧ry1 S3 W2
1 [usually before noun] most important [= main]:
Our primary concern is to provide the refugees with food and healthcare.
Many of the villagers rely on fishing as their primary source of income.
primary purpose/aim/objective
Their primary objective is to make money.
Personal safety is of primary importance.
2 [only before noun]SES especially British English relating to the education of children between five and eleven years old [= elementary AmE; ↪ secondary]:
a primary teacher
primary education
teaching at primary level
3 happening or developing before other things:
a primary tumour
Counselling was given as a primary therapy for depression.

Explore SCHOOL Topic