Simple Definition of primal
: very basic and powerful
Examples of primal in a sentence
<the primal theme of the essay is toleration of religious diversity>
<there was a period of primal idealism after the founding of the republic and before the rise of partisan politics>
Did You Know?
Primal generally describes something powerful and almost instinctual. So when we speak of the primal innocence of youth or the primal intensity of someone's devotion, we're suggesting that the emotions or conditions being described are basic to our animal nature. Sitting around a campfire may feel like a primal experience, in which we share the emotions of our cave-dwelling ancestors. Intense fear of snakes or spiders may have primal roots, owing to the poison that some species carry. In "primal scream" therapy, popular in the 1970s, patients relive painful childhood experiences and express their frustration and anger through uncontrolled screaming and even violence.
Origin and Etymology of primal
Medieval Latin primalis, from Latin primus first — more at prime
First Known Use: 1602
Seen and Heard
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