primacy

noun
pri·​ma·​cy | \ ˈprī-mə-sē How to pronounce primacy (audio) \

Definition of primacy

1 : the state of being first (as in importance, order, or rank) : preeminence the primacy of intellectual and esthetic over materialistic values— T. R. McConnell
2 : the office, rank, or preeminence of an ecclesiastical primate

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of primacy in a Sentence

Civil law took primacy over religious law. She has established primacy in her field of study.

Recent Examples on the Web

What unites the two stories is the primacy of service: George Bailey to the people of Bedford Falls, George Bush to his nation. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "George Bush’s Wonderful Life," 2 Dec. 2018 But shareholder primacy, in which corporate boards prioritize maximizing profits and returns to shareholders above all else, has been on the rise since the 1980s — along with a focus on short-term profits instead of long-term stability and success. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Stock buybacks, explained," 2 Aug. 2018 But shareholder primacy isn’t a new phenomenon: Birinyi Associates, a market research firm, has tracked $9.9 trillion in stock buyback announcements since 1984. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Corporate stock buybacks are booming, thanks to the Republican tax cuts," 22 Mar. 2018 Its ubiquitous Windows system was losing its primacy and a costly bet on acquiring Nokia’s mobile-phone business had failed to pay off. Matt Murray, WSJ, "Microsoft’s Resurgence Under Satya Nadella," 1 Feb. 2019 But what pushes it above the rest is the utter drive of both Max and Herman, as love and competition gains primacy over every aspect of their lives. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Faster than anyone thought possible, Japan ceased to be a threat to U.S. economic primacy. Peter Landers, WSJ, "The Old U.S. Trade War With Japan Looms Over Today’s Dispute With China," 13 Dec. 2018 The album’s primacy was in trouble as soon as iTunes and the iPod encouraged shuffling. New York Times, "Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd, Hip-Hop Impressionists Shaping the Stream," 9 May 2018 Roundtable participants agreed that: Intercollegiate athletics programs at all levels must respect the primacy of the academic enterprise and remain firmly grounded in it. Ted Mitchell, Washington Post, "Higher education must clean out its ‘front porch’," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'primacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of primacy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about primacy

Statistics for primacy

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for primacy

The first known use of primacy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for primacy

primacy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of primacy

formal : the state of being most important or strongest

More from Merriam-Webster on primacy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for primacy

Britannica English: Translation of primacy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on primacy

What made you want to look up primacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!