One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chief bishop or archbishop of a province.‘the primate of Poland’
- ‘I became a priest, then a bishop, then a primate.’
- ‘He therefore persuaded the primate of Numidia to consecrate Augustine to be coadjutor bishop of Hippo.’
- ‘Dr Williams has summoned the top 38 leading bishops, or primates, from across the world for a meeting in London in October.’
- ‘His views were borne out by letters of support from two Catholic bishops, the Church of Ireland primate and the Presbyterian Church.’
- ‘Catholic primate Archbishop Sean Brady will officiate at this morning's Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.’
Middle English: from Old French primat, from Latin primas, primat- ‘of the first rank’, from primus ‘first’.
A mammal of an order that includes the lemurs, bushbabies, tarsiers, marmosets, monkeys, apes, and humans. They are distinguished by having hands, handlike feet, and forward-facing eyes, and, with the exception of humans, are typically agile tree-dwellers.
- ‘Until now, babbling had been observed only in humans and a few primates, such as pygmy marmosets.’
- ‘Besides eating fruit, primates consume leaves, nuts, insects, and other prey.’
- ‘An opposable thumb is generally seen as a defining characteristic of primates, but in spider monkeys it is greatly reduced or entirely absent.’
- ‘One of the world's most diverse primates, lemurs range in size from a mouse to a medium-size dog.’
- ‘As for the primates such as monkeys and baboons, the main effect of the high temperatures is that they lose their appetites.’
Late 19th century: from Latin primas, primat- ‘of the first rank’ (see primate).
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