Origin of primary

1425–75; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin prīmārius of the first rank. See prime, -ary
Related formspri·ma·ri·ness, nounpost·pri·ma·ry, adjectivesub·pri·ma·ry, adjective
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Examples from the Web for primary

British Dictionary definitions for primary

primary

/ (ˈpraɪmərɪ) /

adjective

noun plural -ries

Word Origin for primary

C15: from Latin prīmārius of the first rank, principal, from prīmus first
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for primary

primary

[ prīmĕr′ē, -mə-rē ]

adj.

Being first or highest in importance; principal.
Occurring first in time or sequence; earliest.
Preliminary to a later stage of development; primordial; embryonic.
Immediate; direct.
Of, relating to, or being a sequence of amino acids in a protein.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for primary

primary

[ prīmĕr′ē ]

Relating to a primary color.
Relating to plant tissues or growth derived from the apical meristem in the tips of roots and shoots, whose cells divide and elongate to cause the plant to grow lengthwise.
  1. Relating to or having a carbon atom that is attached to only one other carbon atom in a molecule.
  2. 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.
  1. Arising first and spontaneously, as a disease, disorder, or tumor, and not as a result of a known medical condition or injury.
  2. Relating to the first set of teeth that develops in humans.
Relating to the initial medical care given by a healthcare provider to a patient, especially in a setting of ambulatory, continuous care, and sometimes followed by referral to other medical providers. Compare secondary tertiary.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.