- original; not derived or subordinate; fundamental; basic.
- (in scholarly studies) pertaining to or being a firsthand account, original data, etc., or based on direct knowledge, as in primary source; primary research.
- involving or obtained by replacement of one atom or group.
- noting or containing a carbon atom united to no other or to only one other carbon atom in a molecule.
- (of a derivative) having a root or other unanalyzable element as the underlying form: The word "dole" is a primary derivative formed by modification of "deal," and "phonograph" is a primary derivative from "phono-" and "-graph."
- (of Latin, Greek, Sanskrit tenses) having reference to present or future time.Compare secondary(def 9).
noun, plural pri·ma·ries.
- Also called primary election. a preliminary election in which voters of each party nominate candidates for office, party officers, etc.Compare closed primary, direct primary, indirect primary, open primary.
- a meeting of the voters of a political party in an election district for nominating candidates for office, choosing delegates for a convention, etc.; caucus.
- a body in relation to a smaller body or smaller bodies revolving around it, as a planet in relation to its satellites.
- the brighter of the two stars comprising a double star.Compare companion1(def 6).
verb (used with object), pri·ma·ried, pri·ma·ry·ing.
verb (used without object), pri·ma·ried, pri·ma·ry·ing.
Origin of primary
Examples from the Web for primaries
They excite people, and primaries tend to be dominated by voters who are the most excited.
And that debate during the 1992 primaries worked out pretty well for the nominee.
Nine incumbents lost in the general election, while three lost in their primaries.
But the video game tradition dates back at least to the 2004 Democratic primaries.The GOP's Weird Anti-Dem Video Game, Starring a Frat-Boy Elephant|Asawin Suebsaeng|August 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Both of the statewide candidates that he backed in his home state won their primaries handily.
Seven o'clock, and the girls were leaving the primaries in twos and threes, tired but excitedly discussing the situation.How To Write Special Feature Articles|Willard Grosvenor Bleyer
Primaries eleven; fifth secondary wanting; after shaft to contour feathers present.British Birds in their Haunts|Rev. C. A. Johns
The fact leads me to suspect that I am wrong, after all in this matter of the primaries.Jokes For All Occasions|Anonymous
Each of these is composed of, or can be resolved into, two primaries.Field's Chromatography|George Field
On the under side the wings are bright pale yellow, with the inner margin of the primaries clouded with brown.The Butterfly Book|William Jacob Holland
British Dictionary definitions for primaries
- being the part of an electric circuit, such as a transformer or induction coil, in which a changing current induces a current in a neighbouring circuita primary coil
- (of a current) flowing in such a circuitCompare secondary
- (of an organic compound) having a functional group attached to a carbon atom that is attached to at least two hydrogen atoms
- (of an amine) having only one organic group attached to the nitrogen atom; containing the group NH 2
- (of a salt) derived from a tribasic acid by replacement of one acidic hydrogen atom with a metal atom or electropositive group
- derived from a word that is not a derivation but the ultimate form itself. Lovable is a primary derivative of love
- (of Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit tenses) referring to present or future timeCompare historic (def. 3)
noun plural -ries
- a preliminary election in which the voters of a state or region choose a party's convention delegates, nominees for office, etcSee also closed primary, direct primary, open primary
- a local meeting of voters registered with one party to nominate candidates, select convention delegates, etc
Word Origin for primary
Word Origin and History for primaries (1 of 2)
early 15c., "of the first order," from Latin primarius "of the first rank, chief, principal, excellent," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)). Meaning "first in order" is from 1802. Primary color is first recorded 1610s (at first the seven of the spectrum, later the three from which others can be made); primary school is 1802, from French école primaire.
The Paris journals ... are full of a plan, brought forward by Fourcroy, for the establishment of primary schools, which is not interesting to an English reader. [London "Times," April 27, 1802]
Word Origin and History for primaries (1 of 2)
1861, American English, short for primary election (1792, with reference to France; in a U.S. context from 1835); earlier primary caucus (1821).
Medicine definitions for primaries
Science definitions for primaries
- Relating to or having a carbon atom that is attached to only one other carbon atom in a molecule.
- Relating to an organic molecule, such as an alcohol, in which the functional group is attached to a primary carbon. A primary alcohol, for example, has the hydroxyl (OH) group attached to the last carbon in a chain.
- Arising first and spontaneously, as a disease, disorder, or tumor, and not as a result of a known medical condition or injury.
- Relating to the first set of teeth that develops in humans.
Culture definitions for primaries
State elections of delegates to the nominating convention that chooses a major party's presidential candidate. In some states, delegates are elected by popular vote; in other states, party caucuses or miniconventions choose delegates.