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2017 Word of the Year

primeval

or primaeval

[prahy-mee-vuh l] /praɪˈmi vəl/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the first age or ages, especially of the world:
primeval forms of life.
Origin of primeval
1765-1775
1765-75; < Latin prīmaev(us) young (prīm(us) prime + aev(um) age + -us adj. suffix) + -al1
Related forms
primevally, adverb
Can be confused
primal, primeval, primordial.
Synonyms
primary, primordial, pristine. See prime.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for primeval
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the heart of a primeval forest we could not feel more alone.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • Or would the planet revert to a primeval state of mindless innocence?

    The Most Sentimental Man Evelyn E. Smith
  • Indeed, at that time the settlements had not reached into this then primeval wilderness.

    Whittier-land Samuel T. Pickard
  • For these giants of the primeval forest he ever had a loving admiration.

    Whittier-land Samuel T. Pickard
  • It brought Pedro in with an extraordinary, uncouth, primeval impetuosity.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • He was as one hung in primeval chaos before light had been decreed.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The practical utilities of astronomy were also obvious in primeval times.

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • It is the primeval instinct at the bottom of every woman's heart.

    A Woman for Mayor Helen M. Winslow
British Dictionary definitions for primeval

primeval

/praɪˈmiːvəl/
adjective
1.
of or belonging to the first age or ages, esp of the world
Derived Forms
primevally, primaevally, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin prīmaevus youthful, from prīmus first + aevum age
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for primeval
adj.

also primaeval, 1650s, with -al (1) + Latin primaevus "early in life, youthful," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + aevum "an age" (see eon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for primeval

15
19
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