[prahy-mawr-dee-uh l]


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 formspri·mor·di·al·i·ty [prahy-mawr-dee-al-i-tee] /praɪˌmɔr diˈæl ɪ ti/, nounpri·mor·di·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedprimal primeval primordial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for primordial

Contemporary Examples of primordial

Historical Examples of primordial

  • But all these primordial forms grow--develop into vital activity.

  • They live in the crude, primordial fashion of their forefathers.

  • Now, we cannot get away from a difference so fundamental, so primordial as this.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • All the primordial brute in these men was glowing in their hearts.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • First of all Thales thought that water was the primordial substance of all things.

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 developmentprimordial germ cells


an elementary or basic principle
Derived Formsprimordiality, nounprimordially, adverb

Word Origin for primordial

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

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

primordial in Medicine




Being or happening first in sequence of time; primary; original.
Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or part.
Relating to a primordium.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.