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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for primordial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Moreover, Parker, having an athlete's confidence in his fists, suddenly responded to the instincts of primordial man.

  • Like all primordial aspects of life the situation is double-edged and contradictory.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
  • Here, then, occurs the primordial breach between the physical and spiritual, out of which an institutional world can rise.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • First of all Thales thought that water was the primordial substance of all things.

  • Has the organic world been developed from primordial germs by natural forces?

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Debate Index Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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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