[prahy-mair-uh-lee, -mer-, prahy-mer-uh-lee, -mer-uh-]
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  1. essentially; mostly; chiefly; principally: They live primarily from farming.
  2. in the first instance; at first; originally: Primarily a doctor, he later became a lawyer.

Origin of primarily

First recorded in 1610–20; primary + -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for primarily


  1. principally; chiefly; mainly
  2. at first; originally
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