pri·​mar·​i·​ly | \prī-ˈmer-ə-lē also prə-, chiefly British ˈprī-mə-rə-lē\

Definition of primarily 

1 : for the most part : chiefly has now become primarily a residential town— S. P. B. Mais

2 : in the first place : originally

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Examples of primarily in a Sentence

the university was primarily an agricultural college when it was founded over two centuries ago ketchup is primarily made from tomatoes

Recent Examples on the Web

To crack the lineup, Robertson will have to make an impact, primarily with his bat. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Dandy Dylan: Dylan Robertson's three-run double ignites Brother Rice to summer regional win over Marian Catholic," 9 July 2018 Bush, 94, has a history of expressing himself with a dapper sartorial sense, primarily with the strength of his sock game. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Former President George H. W. Bush Met With Bill Clinton and You Better Believe He Wore the Correct Socks," 26 June 2018 But his inconsistency on both ends of the floor, primarily with offensive decision-making and defensive positioning, led to an uneven season that was supposed to be his breakout campaign. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "2018 NBA draft: When might Louisville basketball players be selected?," 20 June 2018 The company has more than $15 million in active contracts with the agency, primarily for radios and other tactical communications equipment. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "It’s not just Microsoft: lots of tech companies are quietly helping ICE," 20 June 2018 Panama pose relatively limited attacking threat and will be tasked primarily with attempting to absorb the pressure of Belgium’s likely dominance and attacking force in the match., "World Cup Preview: Belgium vs Panama - Recent Form, Key Battle, Team News, Prediction & More," 17 June 2018 The aircraft will also have cameras onboard primarily for takeoff and landing. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Startup plans to revolutionize the air cargo industry, starting with Alaska," 15 June 2018 Capuzzi has served as an assistant coach for the Midshipmen since 2015, working primarily with the defense., "Digest: Redskins replacement players to receive Super Bowl rings," 6 June 2018 EcoWalls, which works primarily with commercial and institutional clients, offers a chef’s wall garden, a customized mix of herbs and leafy greens that costs $4,500 to $5,500 installed. WSJ, "When Your Home Has Its Very Own Jungle," 24 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of primarily

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for primarily

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for primarily

The first known use of primarily was in 1601

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More Definitions for primarily



English Language Learners Definition of primarily

—used to indicate the main purpose of something, reason for something, etc.


pri·​mar·​i·​ly | \prī-ˈmer-ə-lē \

Kids Definition of primarily

: more than anything else : mainly … he always considered himself a sculptor, and primarily a sculptor of marble.— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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Comments on primarily

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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