or pri·mae·val

[ prahy-mee-vuhl ]
/ praɪˈmi vəl /


of or relating to the first age or ages, especially of the world: primeval forms of life.

Origin of primeval

1765–75; < Latin prīmaev(us) young (prīm(us) prime + aev(um) age + -us adj. suffix) + -al1

Related forms

pri·me·val·ly, adverb

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for primeval

British Dictionary definitions for primeval



/ (praɪˈmiːvəl) /


of or belonging to the first age or ages, esp of the world

Derived Forms

primevally or primaevally, adverb

Word Origin for primeval

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