## primitive

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.

Last updated: 1995-05-01

### Nearby terms:

prime number theorem ♦ prime time ♦ **primitive** ♦ Princeton University ♦ principal type

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