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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 ?
The winery's first commercial release received a number of accolades including a gold from the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and a Grand Award of Excellence in the 2009 Seattle Wine Awards, both for its 2007 Avery Vineyard Zinfandel, as well as a 2009 Seattle Times Top 100 Washington Wine Pick for its 2007 Coyote Canyon Primitivo.
Bob and Patty Souza, owners of Souza Family Vineyards in Tehachapi, where they grow grapes on four acres to make Primitivo Zinfandel wine, said they are excited about the tours.
Janus tambien representa la transicion entre lo primitivo (pre-internet) y la civilizacion (post-internet)
A little further north in Manduria, the strength is in primitivo.
Two new wines are being added to Western's Jilly Goolden Keynote range: a Primitivo from Italy and a South African Sauvignon Blanc.
both made from 100% primitivo a varietal from that region that is a genetic precursor to zinfandel.
Primitivo DOC Gioia del Colle Riserva Vanitoso (suggested retail $17) is said to have a full-well balanced taste and a light cocoa aroma.
I had attributed the mondo primitivo vulgarity of his oil paintings, their pervasive miasma of abject swank, to the depredations of '80s taste and credited Clemente himself with the charm and vivacity of the gouaches and watercolors, whose impudent and undisguised nostalgia for a deco beau monde seemed at the time like a manicured finger in the eye of squinting propriety.
Galeria Primitivo (1426 Montana, Suite 7; 576-0482) is stocked with museum-quality artifacts, textiles, paintings, and pottery.
The high quality, handcrafted wines consist of a one hundred percent Old Vine Primitivo (Zinfandel) from Puglia, Italy, Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and South Australia, a Cotes Du Rhone from the Rhone Valley in France, and a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, all retailing for just $15.
LLOYDS Bank Commercial Banking's Midlands property team event took place at Primitivo Bar on Barwick Street, Birmingham.