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.chief, leading, main, best, first, highest, greatest, top, prime, capital, principal, dominant, cardinal, paramount
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
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers