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1relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something:primitive mammals a name corrupted from primitive German relating to or denoting a preliterate, nonindustrial society or culture characterized by simple social and economic organization:primitive people having a quality or style that offers an extremely basic level of comfort, convenience, or efficiency:the accommodations at the camp were a bit primitive (of behavior, thought, or emotion) apparently originating in unconscious needs or desires and unaffected by objective reasoning:the primitive responses we share with many animals of or denoting a simple, direct style of art that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques. 2not developed or derived from anything else:the primitive material of the universe Linguistics denoting a word, base, or root from which another is historically derived. Mathematics (of an algebraic or geometric expression) from which another is derived, or which is not itself derived from another. 3 Biology (of a part or structure) in the first or early stage of formation or growth; rudimentary. See also primitive streak.
1a person belonging to a preliterate, nonindustrial society or culture. 2a pre-Renaissance painter. a modern painter who imitates the pre-Renaissance style. an artist employing a simple, naive style that deliberately rejects subtlety or conventional techniques. a painting by a primitive artist, or an object in a primitive style. 3 Linguistics a word, base, or root from which another is historically derived. Mathematics an algebraic or geometric expression from which another is derived; a curve of which another is the polar or reciprocal. Computing a simple operation or procedure of a limited set from which complex operations or procedures may be constructed, especially a simple geometric shape that may be generated in computer graphics by such an operation or procedure.