Definition of primate
1 often capitalized : a bishop who has precedence in a province, a group of provinces, or a nation
2 archaic : one first in authority or rank : leader
3 [New Latin Primates, from Latin, plural of primat-, primas] : any of an order (Primates) of mammals that are characterized especially by advanced development of binocular vision resulting in stereoscopic depth perception, specialization of the hands and feet for grasping, and enlargement of the cerebral hemispheres and that include humans, apes, monkeys, and related forms (such as lemurs and tarsiers)
primateshipplay \-ˌship\ noun
primatialplay \prī-ˈmā-shəl\ adjective
Examples of primate in a Sentence
the Primate of England and Wales
Recent Examples of primate from the Web
These brownish, dog-sized primates live in troops of dozens of males and females.
But Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes is something else, a summer blockbuster that treats its audience as primates of a higher order.
At the Center for Great Apes in Central Florida, the primate population finds companionship with their own, often for the first time, said founder Patti Ragan.
By protocol, the zoo reported the primate’s death to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture.
The primate breakdance bonanza started off as a simple dip in the pool kept behind-the-scenes at the zoo.
Zola’s keepers said the popular primate loves the water and that the exercise provides him with physical and mental stimulation.
To do that, Harris Lewin, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Davis, and colleagues compared 19 genomes of various mammals at different spots in the eutherian family tree, including several primates.
Topis, giraffes, black rhino, antelopes and primates are also well represented.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'primate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of primate
Middle English primat, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin primat-, primas archbishop, from Latin, leader, from primus
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
PRIMATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of primate for English Language Learners
: any member of the group of animals that includes human beings, apes, and monkeys
: the highest ranking priest in a particular country or area in some Christian churches (such as the Church of England)
PRIMATE Defined for Kids
Definition of primate for Students
: any of a group of mammals that includes humans together with the apes and monkeys and a few related forms
Medical Definition of primate
: any mammal of the order Primates
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