Definition of primacy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprʌɪməsi/


[mass noun]
1The fact of being pre-eminent or most important: London’s primacy as a financial centre
More example sentences
  • First-rate higher education institutions place primacy of importance on research and this is increasingly the case here at Waterford.
  • There is always the talk of the importance and needed primacy of primary care in our health care system.
  • Science accords primacy to the facts themselves, and requires that conclusions honor them.
greater importance, priority, precedence, pre-eminence, preference, superiority, first place, pride of place, weighting, supremacy, ascendancy, sovereignty, dominance, dominion, leadership
rare paramountcy
2The office, period of office, or authority of a primate of the Church: the first years of his primacy were tranquil
More example sentences
  • But do we really need another in-house hassle over papal primacy versus episcopal collegiality?
  • An excellent defense of the need for a reformed universal primacy of the Bishop of Rome in a reunited Church is also included.
  • Forster reflected the position on papal primacy taken by the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission for ecumenical dialogue.
3 [usually as modifier] Psychology The fact of an item having been presented earlier to the subject (especially as increasing its likelihood of being remembered): the primacy effect is thought to reflect recall from a long-term memory store
More example sentences
  • The notion that recognition memory performance is dominated by semantic or conceptual factors has its origin in what Kolers and Roediger referred to as the semantic primacy assumption.
  • This pattern of recall is likely the result of the combination of easily recalled semantically related words and primacy effects.
  • These findings of long-term priming effects are clearly in opposition to the semantic primacy assumption.


Late Middle English: from Old French primatie, from medieval Latin primatia, from Latin primas, primat- 'of the first rank' (see primate1).

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Line breaks: pri|macy

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