Not derived from something else; primary or basic. Of or relating to an earliest or original stage or state; primeval. Being little evolved from an early ancestral type. Characterized by simplicity or crudity; unsophisticated: primitive weapons. See Synonyms at rude. Anthropology Of or relating to a nonindustrial, often tribal culture, especially one that is characterized by a low level of economic complexity: primitive societies. Linguistics Serving as the basis for derived or inflected forms: Pick is the primitive word from which picket is derived. Linguistics Being a protolanguage: primitive Germanic. Relating or belonging to forces of nature; elemental: primitive passions. Of or created by an artist without formal training; simple or naive in style. Of or relating to the work of an artist from a nonindustrial, often tribal culture, especially a culture that is characterized by a low level of economic complexity. Of or relating to late medieval or pre-Renaissance European painters or sculptors. Biology Occurring in or characteristic of an early stage of development or evolution. Anthropology A person belonging to a nonindustrial, often tribal society, especially a society characterized by a low level of economic complexity. An unsophisticated person. One that is at a low or early stage of development. One belonging to an early stage in the development of an artistic trend, especially a painter of the pre-Renaissance period. An artist having or affecting a simple, direct, unschooled style, as of painting. A self-taught artist. A work of art created by a primitive artist. Linguistics A word or word element from which another word is derived by morphological or historical processes or from which inflected forms are derived. Linguistics A basic and indivisible unit of linguistic analysis. Also called prime. Mathematics An algebraic or geometric expression from which another expression is derived. Computer Science A basic or fundamental unit of machine instruction or translation.