• synonyms


or pri·mae·val

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

1765–75; < Latin prīmaev(us) young (prīm(us) prime + aev(um) age + -us adj. suffix) + -al1
Related formspri·me·val·ly, adverb
Can be confusedprimal primeval primordial


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for primevally

Historical Examples

  • There was that about her which was at once elusive and primevally real.

    The World For Sale, Complete

    Gilbert Parker

  • Kedzie stood on tiptoe, primevally trying to lift her ears higher still to hear what followed.

British Dictionary definitions for primevally



  1. of or belonging to the first age or ages, esp of the world
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Derived Formsprimevally or primaevally, adverb

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for primevally



also primaeval, 1650s, with -al (1) + Latin primaevus "early in life, youthful," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + aevum "an age" (see eon).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper