- next after the first in order, place, time, etc.
- belonging or pertaining to a second order, division, stage, period, rank, grade, etc.
- (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.
Origin of secondary
Synonyms for secondary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- one grade or step after the first; not primary
- derived from or depending on what is primary, original, or firsta 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 18secondary 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 coila secondary coil
- (of a current) flowing in such a circuitCompare primary (def. 7)
- (of an industry) involving the manufacture of goods from raw materialsCompare primary (def. 8b), tertiary (def. 2)
- 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 wingSee primary (def. 6)
- astronomy a celestial body that orbits around a specified primary bodythe 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
- American football
- the secondarycornerbacks and safeties collectively
- their area in the field
- short for secondary colour
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
late 14c., from Latin secundarius "pertaining to the second class, inferior," from secundus (see second (adj.)). Of colors, from 1831; of education, from 1809. Of sex characteristics from 1780. Opposed to primary or principal. Related: Secondarily.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Of the second rank; not primary.
- Minor; lesser.
- Derived from what is primary or original.
- Of or relating to a chemical compound characterized or formed by replacement of two atoms or radicals within a molecule.
- Of, relating to, or being a degree of health care intermediate between that offered in a physician's office and that available at a research hospital, as the care typically offered at a clinic or community hospital.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- 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.