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1. Anthropol denoting or relating to a preliterate and nonindustrial social system
2. Biology
a. of, relating to, or resembling an early stage in the evolutionary development of a particular group of organisms
b. another word for primordial
3. showing the characteristics of primitive painters; untrained, childlike, or naive
4. Geology pertaining to magmas that have experienced only small degrees of fractional crystallization or crystal contamination
5. Obsolete of, relating to, or denoting rocks formed in or before the Palaeozoic era
6. Protestant theol of, relating to, or associated with a minority group that breaks away from a sect, denomination, or Church in order to return to what is regarded as the original simplicity of the Gospels
a. an artist whose work does not conform to traditional, academic, or avant-garde standards of Western painting, such as a painter from an African or Oceanic civilization
b. a painter of the pre-Renaissance era in European painting
c. a painter of any era whose work appears childlike or untrained
8. a work by such an artist
9. Maths a curve, function, or other form from which another is derived



originally, a work of art from the early period of the evolution of art. The concept of the “primitive” arose from the juxtaposition, characteristic of 18th- and 19th-century aesthetics and art studies, of “childish” and “mature” stages in the development of art. It was believed, especially beginning in the 18th century, that primitive art could be attractive by virtue of the wholeness and seeming simplicity of its pictorial organization. These features emerged most strongly when primitive works were compared with works representing the prevailing styles.

In modern art studies, the designation “primitive” has entirely lost all judgmental overtones and is purely a name. It is applied to works by late medieval artists (for example, the Italian primitives), to the art of peoples who have retained features of primitive communal society (this concept of primitive art, however, has currency only in foreign scholarship), to the work of artists who have not received systematic artistic training, and to the work of the representatives of primitivism.


Previtali, G. La Fortuna dei primitivi dal Vasari ai neoclassici. Turin, 1964.
Venturi, L. Il gusto dei primitivi. Turin, 1972.


(computer science)
A sketchy specification, omitting details, of some action in a computer program.
(control systems)
A basic operation of a robot, initialized by a single command statement in the program that controls the robot.


A function, operator, or type which is built into a programming language (or operating system), either for speed of execution or because it would be impossible to write it in the language. Primitives typically include the arithmetic and logical operations (plus, minus, and, or, etc.) and are implemented by a small number of machine language instructions.


(1) See primitive data type.

(2) In computer graphics, an element that is used as a building block for creating images, such as a point, line, arc, cone or sphere.

(3) In programming, a fundamental instruction, statement or operation. See machine instruction.

(4) In microprogramming, a microinstruction, or elementary machine operation. See microcode.
References in periodicals archive ?
Primitivo was a favourite with local office workers, financiers and lawyers alike.
Primitivo Bar & Eatery, 10-12 Barwick Street, Birmingham (0121 236 6866).
With the fall release of the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, along with this year's release of Primitivo, the Cote Du Rhone and the Argentine Malbec from Mendoza, Layer Cake continues to venture beyond Australia and the original Barossa Valley Shiraz.
Made from old-vine zinfandel, also known as primitivo, the soft, deep blackberry fruit, medicinal clovey nose and well-defined tannins will transform a plate of corned beef and cabbage, as well as complementing soda bread and strong hard cheeses.
Moving to Italy - at least we can dream - the CANALETTO PRIMITIVO DI PUGLIA 2007 (pounds 5.
Mario Vargas Llosa viaja al origen de la ficcion y demuestra como la literatura es la hija tardia del primitivo contador de historias; Enrique Krauze desentrana las relaciones entre novela e historia a traves de la lectura de Benito Cereno, de Herman Melville; Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez estudia las dificiles relaciones entre poder y creacion literaria y Julio Villanueva Chang se acerca a los vasos comunicantes entre deporte y ficcion gracias a la figura del perdedor perfecto.
The primitivo grape is a powerful mouthful ideal for rich and warming food.
The one I've most enjoyed this week is the Da Luca Primitivo Merlot 2004 by the young (and, some might say, rather cute) Italian winemaker Scipione 'Luca' Giuliani, head winemaker for MGM Mondo del Vino.
Cuttings from Sobon's Primitivo vineyard were also included in the project.
The Co-op's Puglia Primitivo Sangiovese 2002 has a lovely smell of smoky, plummy, brambly fruit and a surprisingly juicy flavour with a nice twist of tannin ( another bargain.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Delgado in the April 6 shooting death of Primitivo Alejandro Alvarez, 35, of Ventura.