pri·​mar·​i·​ly | \ prī-ˈmer-ə-lē also prə- How to pronounce primarily (audio) , 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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Synonyms for primarily


firstly, initially, 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

The successor to the Xr will also likely come in new colors, as suggested by the event’s invite: New Apple Watches Apple is planning to launch a fifth generation of its wearable, based primarily on the design released at last year’s event. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Apple’s big September event will be about a lot more than new iPhones," 6 Sep. 2019 Officers made 68 traffic stops, arrested one person and towed one car over the weekend, the Portland Police Bureau said Monday, focusing primarily on north and northeast Portland. oregonlive, "1 arrested in street racing crackdown over Labor Day weekend," 2 Sep. 2019 The 6-foot-7 Jelks has played primarily as an edge rusher during training camp and the preseason., "Former Oregon Ducks’ star Jalen Jelks could be destined for the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad: Reports," 28 Aug. 2019 Seth Brown, who primarily played first base for the Las Vegas Aviators this year, made a diving catch to rob Cheslor Cuthbert of extra base hits. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "‘Nights like that is why you have a guy like him’: Mike Fiers solidifies role as most consistent Athletics starter in win over Kansas City," 27 Aug. 2019 The two dogs who primarily play Lady and the Tramp trotted out onto the D23 stage Friday, with star Yvette Nicole Brown leading them out. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "First 'Lady and the Tramp' Remake Trailer Debuts," 23 Aug. 2019 The next two major black American tennis champions, Arthur Ashe and Zina Garrison, likewise kept their focus primarily on the 78-foot-long court. Elizabeth Weil, New York Times, "Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?," 22 Aug. 2019 Kelly and Harmony plan to promote The American Griots with shows during the fall, primarily on the U.S. east and west coasts. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Hitmaking Songwriters Team Up as Louis York for 'Don't You Forget': Premiere," 22 Aug. 2019 Since Ninja primarily played Fortnite on Twitch, the company tried populating his zombie profile with other popular streams featuring the same game. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "This Is How Porn Ended Up on Ninja’s Zombie Twitch Channel," 13 Aug. 2019

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

14 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce primarily (audio) \

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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