primate

noun
pri·​mate | \ ˈprī-ˌmāt or especially for sense 1 -mət How to pronounce primate (audio) \

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)

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Other Words from primate

primateship \ ˈprī-​ˌmāt-​ˌship How to pronounce primateship (audio) \ noun
primatial \ prī-​ˈmā-​shəl How to pronounce primatial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of primate in a Sentence

the Primate of England and Wales

Recent Examples on the Web

In its protest, the American Jewish Committee pointed to a passage in a 1936 pastoral letter by Hlond, who was Poland’s primate then, that showed his attitude toward Jews and echoed the general line of the Catholic Church of the time. Washington Post, "Polish priest set for sainthood criticized for anti-Semitism," 4 July 2018 Seven primates, including the Bornean Orangutan and the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, are currently listed as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund. James Rogers, Fox News, "Mysterious remains of extinct ape discovered in ancient Chinese tomb," 22 June 2018 Since the early days of xenotransplantation, researchers and surgeons have seen pigs (specifically miniature pigs) rather than primates as the best potential organ donors for humans. Joshua Mezrich, WSJ, "Losing the Humanity of Transplants," 18 Jan. 2019 This inspired some of the others to cry out as well, until the room rang with the crisscrossing glissandos of primate music. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 2018 Many Native American cultures have written and oral legends that tell of a primate-type creature roaming the continent's forests. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Science Meets Legend: The Story of Our Search for Bigfoot," 8 Oct. 2018 Photos of some of those chimps line a portion of one wall in the office of Steve Ross at Lincoln Park Zoo, forming a compelling primate panorama. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Lincoln Park Zoo partners with Chimp Haven — a place where chimps can get out of their lab cages and live free," 21 June 2018 George was living in a wildlife preserve after being rescued from poachers by primate specialist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson). Tracy Brown, latimes.com, "'Jurassic World' and the entertainment industry's insistence that science will run amok," 15 June 2018 Generally, the transmission tests were done by seeing if virus from rats could pass to non-human primates or pigs in labs. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Rat hepatitis jumps to human for first time, spotlighting disease mystery," 2 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of primate

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for primate

Middle English primat, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin primat-, primas archbishop, from Latin, leader, from primus

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Statistics for primate

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for primate

The first known use of primate was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for primate

primate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of primate

: any member of the group of animals that includes human beings, apes, and monkeys
formal : the highest ranking priest in a particular country or area in some Christian churches (such as the Church of England)

primate

noun
pri·​mate | \ ˈprī-ˌmāt How to pronounce primate (audio) \

Kids Definition of primate

: any of a group of mammals that includes humans together with the apes and monkeys and a few related forms

primate

noun
pri·​mate | \ ˈprī-ˌmāt How to pronounce primate (audio) \

Medical Definition of primate

: any mammal of the order Primates

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More from Merriam-Webster on primate

Spanish Central: Translation of primate

Nglish: Translation of primate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of primate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about primate

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