- noting or containing a carbon atom united to three other carbon atoms.
- formed by replacement of three atoms or groups.
noun, plural ter·ti·ar·ies.
- tertian malaria,
- tertiary alcohol,
- tertiary bursary,
- tertiary care,
- tertiary college,
- tertiary color
Origin of tertiary
Examples from the Web for tertiary
But forget about the tertiary side characters, the main players are also saddled with catastrophically absurd stories as well.NBC’s ‘Smash’: Weak Writing, Terrible Characters, and Painful Subplots|Jace Lacob|March 26, 2012|DAILY BEAST
My only consolation is the knowledge that the speaker is entirely secondary (or tertiary) to the proceedings.
The formation of the coast and plains is Tertiary and recent alluvium.
By the middle of the Tertiary this ancestral horse has risen in height until he is taller and heavier than a setter dog.The Meaning of Evolution|Samuel Christian Schmucker
They occur in many localities of the Tertiary formations west of the Mississippi River.Extinct Monsters|H. N. Hutchinson
Instead of being a secondary prterite, it is a tertiary one.The English Language|Robert Gordon Latham
According to Thierfelder and Von Mering,84 tertiary alcohols are combined in this manner in the rabbit but not in the dog.The Toxicity of Caffein|William Salant
- (of an organic compound) having a functional group attached to a carbon atom that is attached to three other groups
- (of an amine) having three organic groups attached to a nitrogen atom
- (of a salt) derived from a tribasic acid by replacement of all its acidic hydrogen atoms with metal atoms or electropositive groups
noun plural -tiaries
Word Origin for tertiary
1650s, "of the third order, rank, degree, etc.," from Latin tertiarius "of or pertaining to a third," from tertius "third, a third," from root of tres "three" (see three). The geological sense (with capital T-) of "era after the Mesozoic" (which formerly was called the Secondary) is attested from 1794, after Italian terziari, used in this sense 1760 by Italian geologist Giovanni Arduino (1714-1795).
- Relating to or having a carbon atom that is attached to three other carbon atoms in a molecule.
- Relating to an organic molecule, such as an alcohol, in which the functional group is attached to a tertiary carbon.