Word forms: plural primaries
1. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]
You use primary to describe something that is very important. [formal]
⇒ That's the primary reason the company's share price has held up so well.
⇒ I don't think young people's primary aim in life is to get drunk.
⇒ His misunderstanding of language was the primary cause of his other problems.
⇒ The family continues to be the primary source of care and comfort for people as they grow older.
2. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]
Primary education is given to pupils between the ages of 5 and 11. [British]
⇒ Britain did not introduce compulsory primary education until 1880.
⇒ Ninety-nine per cent of primary pupils now have hands-on experience of computers.
⇒ ...primary teachers.regional note: in AM, use elementary
3. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]
Primary is used to describe something that occurs first.
⇒ It is not the primary tumour that kills, but secondary growths elsewhere in the body.
⇒ They have been barred from primary bidding for clients.
4. countable noun
Synonyms: More Synonyms of primary
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers