1. The state of being the firstborn or eldest child of the same parents.
2. Law The right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents.
[Late Latin prīmōgenitūra : Latin prīmō, at first (from prīmus, first; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + Latin genitūra, birth (from genitus, past participle of gignere, to beget; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
pri′mo·geni·tar′y (-jĕnĭ-tĕr′ē), pri′mo·geni·tal (-təl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.