- 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.
Origin of tertiary
Examples from the Web for tertiary
Contemporary Examples of 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
March 26, 2012
My only consolation is the knowledge that the speaker is entirely secondary (or tertiary) to the proceedings.My Commencement Address
May 17, 2009
Historical Examples of tertiary
Tertiary Colours are three only, citrine, russet, and olive.Field's Chromatography
(which is about 800 feet in height) to beneath the Tertiary beds to the north.More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II
There should still be the tertiary larva, of which I see not a trace.The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
We have seen that it is a state of tertiary formation and very complex.Essay on the Creative Imagination
No trace of the family has yet been detected in even the Tertiary rocks.The Testimony of the Rocks
- (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.