pri·​mal | \ ˈprī-məl How to pronounce primal (audio) \

Definition of primal

1 : original, primitive village life continued in its primal innocence— Van Wyck Brooks
2 : first in importance : primary

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
Recent Examples on the Web There's something so primal about the person-vs.-nature conflict that makes these survival stories so compelling. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 1 June 2022 That was the primal scream coming from Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra High on a cool, breezy Saturday afternoon at Moorpark High after learning his wind-legal performance in the 100 meters was the fastest in state history. Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 The primal scream that marks the film’s coda could be a generation’s roar, instead of just a single individual’s. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 28 Mar. 2022 But critics have contended that the website’s ancillary practice of assigning a numerical rank to teams has fueled a primal instinct among too many youth hockey stakeholders to climb the rankings ladder in a never-ending game of one-upmanship. David Andreatta, New York Times, 13 May 2022 Pangs over Ukraine’s fate fuel a primal urge to stand with its defenders. Suzanne Nossel, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2022 Like so many transplants to Washington, Crick felt a primal urge to create a dish that reminded him of home, where his tastes were first formed and forever hardwired in the brain. Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2022 People climbed on top of one another as primal screams were bellowed toward the heavens. Clint Smith, The Atlantic, 2 July 2021 Teasing, goading, exploring and intertwining, their wordless interactions are intimate primal screams. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of primal

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for primal

probably from prime entry 2 + -al entry 1

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primal cut

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Statistics for primal

Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Primal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on primal

Britannica English: Translation of primal for Arabic Speakers


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