Definition of primacy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprīməsē/


1The fact of being primary, preeminent, or more important: the primacy of air power in the modern war
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, preeminence, superiority, supremacy, ascendancy, dominance, dominion, leadership
2The office, period of office, or authority of a primate of certain churches.
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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Syllabification: pri·ma·cy

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