[ prahy-muh l ]
/ ˈpraɪ məl /


first; original; primeval: primal eras before the appearance of life on earth.
of first importance; fundamental: the primal resources of a nation.

Origin of primal

From the Medieval Latin word prīmālis, dating back to 1535–45. See prime, -al1

Related forms

non·pri·mal, adjective

Can be confused

primal primeval primordial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for primal

British Dictionary definitions for primal


/ (ˈpraɪməl) /


first or original
chief or most important

Word Origin for primal

C17: from Medieval Latin prīmālis, from Latin prīmus first
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

Medicine definitions for primal


[ prīməl ]


Being first in time; original.
Of first or central importance; primary.

Related forms

pri•mali•ty (-mălĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.