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[prahy-mawr-dee-uh l] /praɪˈmɔr di əl/
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 forms
[prahy-mawr-dee-al-i-tee] /praɪˌmɔr diˈæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
primordially, adverb
Can be confused
primal, primeval, primordial. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for primordial
  • This grotesque outcome follows naturally from the primordial lie.
  • There's something primordial about eating meat off the bone.
  • The proper way to show it hurts is with a loud primordial grunt.
  • If so, this primordial instinct joins a lengthening list of maladaptations to modern life.
  • But their countries have always been linked by far more primordial forces.
  • The walls of the basement playroom reverberate with the sounds of pounding, primordial yells and groans spiraling upstairs.
  • Analysis of the resulting cloud of debris will provide information about conditions in the primordial solar system.
  • They are seeking ultimately to reconstruct the primordial language, the mother tongue of all humans.
  • They would do this by “stealing” a property called lepton number from the primordial cosmic soup.
  • Legions of modern artists have been attracted to things prehistoric, archaic and primordial.
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 development: primordial germ cells
an elementary or basic principle
Derived Forms
primordiality, noun
primordially, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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primordial in Medicine

primordial pri·mor·di·al (prī-môr'dē-əl)

  1. Being or happening first in sequence of time; primary; original.

  2. Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or a part.

  3. Relating to a primordium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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