"right of succession of the first-born," c. 1600, from French primogeniture and directly from Medieval Latin primogenitura, from Late Latin primogenitus "first-born," from Latin primo (adv.) "first in order of time," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Earlier it meant simply "fact of being first-born" (1590s).
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