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 Over the years, the population grew, and in 1984, the state government began to allow culling of the primates, according to First Coast News. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Deadly herpes-riddled feral monkeys swing through Florida," 4 Feb. 2020 Previous outbreaks have devastated populations of non-human primates, a group that includes chimpanzees, monkeys, and gorillas. National Geographic, "What it takes to protect gorillas from Ebola," 15 Nov. 2019 Some parrot species, in fact, can attain feats equal to those of nonhuman primates. Onur Güntürkün, Scientific American, "“Birdbrain” Turns from Insult to Praise," 1 Jan. 2020 The 19-year-old then cut a hole in the lemur and capuchin monkey enclosures with bolt cutters, allowing a few of the primates to escape. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Teen sentenced to three months in prison for stealing lemur from California zoo," 28 Oct. 2019 Hartstone-Rose has dissected hundreds of primates, often focusing on forearm anatomy where most of the muscles that control the fingers reside. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Extra Thumb Discovered on Aye-Aye Lemurs, Giving These Primates Six Fingers," 22 Oct. 2019 Chimpanzees and several other primate species use tools. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Video shows a puffin in Iceland using a tool to scratch an itch," 30 Dec. 2019 Open year-round, the zoo is home to primates, lions, tigers, zebras, bears, and more, and is a nice place to linger while also exploring the surrounding 1,326 acres. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why St. Louis Needs to Be Your Next Weekend Getaway," 19 Dec. 2019 The first difference between base editing and prime editing is that base editing has been widely used for the past 3 1/2 years in organisms ranging from bacteria to plants to mice to primates. Sharon Begley, STAT, "You had questions for David Liu about CRISPR, prime editing, and advice to young scientists. He has answers," 6 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for primate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for primate

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Primate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/primate. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for primate

primate

noun
How to pronounce primate (audio)

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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