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[prahy-mawr-dee-uh l] /praɪˈmɔr di əl/
constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary:
primordial forms of life.
Embryology. first formed.
pertaining to or existing at or from the very beginning:
primordial matter.
Origin of primordial
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin prīmōrdiālis of the beginning. See primordium, -al1
Related forms
[prahy-mawr-dee-al-i-tee] /praɪˌmɔr diˈæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
primordially, adverb
Can be confused
primal, primeval, primordial. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for primordial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But all these primordial forms grow--develop into vital activity.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • They live in the crude, primordial fashion of their forefathers.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • Now, we cannot get away from a difference so fundamental, so primordial as this.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • All the primordial brute in these men was glowing in their hearts.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • First of all Thales thought that water was the primordial substance of all things.

British Dictionary definitions for primordial


existing at or from the beginning; earliest; primeval
constituting an origin; fundamental
(biology) of or relating to an early stage of development: primordial germ cells
an elementary or basic principle
Derived Forms
primordiality, noun
primordially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin prīmōrdiālis original, from Latin prīmus first + ōrdīrī to begin
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 primordial

late 14c., from Late Latin primordialis "first of all, original," from Latin primordium "a beginning, the beginning, origin, commencement," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + stem of ordiri "to begin" (see order (n.)). Related: Primordially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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primordial in Medicine

primordial pri·mor·di·al (prī-môr'dē-əl)

  1. Being or happening first in sequence of time; primary; original.

  2. Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or a part.

  3. Relating to a primordium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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