This is a synonym for proximal primitive supertype.

proximal primitive supertype

primitive concept that is a  supertype of specified  concept and is not a supertype of any other primitive concept that is a supertype or the specified concept


  • All concepts except the  root concept have at least one proximal primitive supertype concept. In many cases this is a top level hierarchy concept. However, in some case one or more intermediate primitive supertypes may exist between the top level concept and a defined concept.
  • A concept's proximal primitive supertypes represent aspects of the meaning of that concept that are not formally defined by other axioms
  • The chapter on  Proximal primitive modeling in the  SNOMED CT Editorial Guide explains the role of proximal primitive supertypes in modeling concepts.


In  Figure 1 the concepts C, D, E and F have a single proximal primitive supertype BConcept A is also primitive, but it is a supertype of B so it is not a proximal primitive supertype of these concepts. Similarly concepts H, J and N have a single proximal primitive supertype G. Concepts L and M have a single proximal primitive supertypeI. Note that G is not a proximal primitive supertype for these concepts because it is a supertype of concept I. In this hierarchy only concept P has more than one proximal primitive supertypes. The proximal primitive supertypes of concept P are concepts K and I as neither of these concepts is a supertype of the other. 

Figure 1: Illustrative Hierarchy Diagram


  • Proximal primitive parent

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