next after the first in order, place, time, etc.
belonging or pertaining to a second order, division, stage, period, rank, grade, etc.
dependent on or generated by something more basic; derivative.
(in scholarly studies) pertaining to or being a derived or derivative account, an evaluation of original data, etc.; not primary or original, as in secondary source; secondary research.
of minor or lesser importance; subordinate; auxiliary.
of or relating to secondary schools.
involving or obtained by the replacement of two atoms or groups.
noting or containing a carbon atom united to two other carbon atoms in a chain or ring molecule.
Electricity. noting or pertaining to the current induced by a primary winding or to the winding in which the current is induced in an induction coil, transformer, or the like.
Geology. noting or pertaining to a mineral produced from another mineral by decay, alteration, or the like.
(of a derivative) having a root or other unanalyzable element that is itself a word or free form: The word “glazier” is a secondary derivative formed by adding a suffix to “glaze.” The word "debatably" is formed directly from "debatable" and is therefore a secondary derivative from "debate."
having reference to past time; noting or pertaining to a past tense: the Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit secondary tenses.: Compare primary (def. 13).
Ornithology. pertaining to any of a set of flight feathers on the second segment of a bird's wing.
Linguistics. of, relating to, or characteristic of a secondary accent: secondary stress.
a person or thing that is secondary.
a subordinate, assistant, deputy, or agent.
Electricity. a winding in a transformer or the like in which a current is induced by a primary winding.
Ornithology. a secondary feather.
Football. the defensive unit that lines up behind the linemen.
Linguistics. secondary accent.
- sec·ond·ar·i·ly [sek-uhn-der-uh-lee, sek-uhn-dair-], /ˈsɛk ənˌdɛr ə li, ˌsɛk ənˈdɛər-/, adverb
- sec·ond·ar·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use secondary in a sentence
British Dictionary definitions for secondary
one grade or step after the first; not primary
derived from or depending on what is primary, original, or first: a secondary source
below the first in rank, importance, etc; not of major importance
(prenominal) of or relating to the education of young people between the ages of 11 and 18: secondary education
(of the flight feathers of a bird's wing) growing from the ulna
being the part of an electric circuit, such as a transformer or induction coil, in which a current is induced by a changing current in a neighbouring coil: a secondary coil
(of a current) flowing in such a circuit: Compare primary (def. 7)
geology (of minerals) formed by the alteration of pre-existing minerals
(of an organic compound) having a functional group attached to a carbon atom that is attached to one hydrogen atom and two other groups
(of an amine) having only two organic groups attached to a nitrogen atom; containing the group NH
(of a salt) derived from a tribasic acid by replacement of two acidic hydrogen atoms with metal atoms or electropositive groups
derived from a word that is itself a derivation from another word. Thus, lovably comes from lovable and is a secondary derivative from love
(of a tense in Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit) another word for historic (def. 3)
a person or thing that is secondary
a subordinate, deputy, or inferior
a secondary coil, winding, inductance, or current in an electric circuit
ornithol any of the flight feathers that grow from the ulna of a bird's wing: See primary (def. 6)
astronomy a celestial body that orbits around a specified primary body: the moon is the secondary of the earth
med a cancerous growth in some part of the body away from the site of the original tumour
the secondary cornerbacks and safeties collectively
their area in the field
short for secondary colour
- secondarily, adverb
- secondariness, noun
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
Scientific definitions for secondary
Relating to a secondary color.
Relating to or derived from either of the lateral meristems (the cork cambium or the vascular cambium) of vascular plants. For example, secondary xylem in a stem is produced by the vascular cambium, as opposed to primary xylem produced by the apical meristem during the original growth of the stem from a seedling. See also secondary growth.
Relating to or having a carbon atom that is attached to two other carbon atoms in a molecule.
Relating to an organic molecule, such as an alcohol, in which the functional group is attached to a secondary carbon.
Relating to a medical condition that arises as a result of another disorder, disease process, or injury. Compare primary tertiary.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.