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From Old French primacie, from Medieval Latin primatia (office of a church primate), from Latin primas plus a suffix corresponding to -acy.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɹaɪ.mə.si/, /ˈpɹɪ.mə.si/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɹaɪ.mə.si/
    • (file)


primacy (usually uncountable, plural primacies)

  1. The state or condition of being prime or first, as in time, place, rank, etc.
    • December 25 2016, Amruta Patil writing in The Hindu, The book in my hand
    • I am reading Nick Sousanis’ PhD dissertation-as-a-comic Unflattening. It debunks the primacy of word over image in Western culture and suggests that the two are equal partners in meaning-making.
  2. (archaic) excellence; supremacy.
  3. (religion) The office, rank, or character of a primate, it being the chief ecclesiastical station or dignity in a national church
    • December 2 2016, Catholic World News, Ecumenical Patriarch points to areas of agreement with Pope
      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, emphasized the many areas of agreement between Pope Francis and himself in response to the social concerns of the day.
  4. (religion) the office or dignity of an archbishop


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for primacy in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)