Definition of primary source in English:

primary source


  • (in academic research) a document, first-hand account, or other source that constitutes direct evidence of an object of study.

    ‘the archive allows researchers unprecedented access to primary sources about the development of Irish language policy over the past century’
    • ‘She will discuss the primary sources she used in the process of doing research on the war.’
    • ‘The primary sources include commercial and government registers.’
    • ‘He visited Rehoboth Presbyterian Church while looking for primary sources to verify the places Lafayette visited.’
    • ‘To find a sports history book that has been so meticulously researched and is backed by hundreds of primary sources is revelatory.’
    • ‘Get deeply into primary sources and let what you find in them guide your research.’
    • ‘Work to determine the search area for the wreck began more than 11 years ago with an analysis of primary sources.’
    • ‘Those studies serve as a primary source—the exact findings from a trial or research group examining the efficacy of a drug or success of a treatment plan, for example.’
    • ‘This work is designed to provide an extensive account based upon authoritative primary sources.’
    • ‘Newspapers and other primary sources make no mention of such duels in the streets.’
    • ‘Few could contend, with any basis, that his book is not replete with facts substantiated by primary sources.’