A primate is a monkey, ape, human, or other similar mammal. You've probably visited the primate house at the zoo.
When you see the word primate, you probably think of monkeys. A monkey is just one example of a primate, though — lemurs are primates too, and so are gibbons, and even people. The things we all have in common are large brains, opposable thumbs, bendy toes, and good eyesight. The Latin word primas, or "first," is the root of primate, which scientists sometimes call "the highest order of mammals."