of the third order, rank, stage, formation, etc.; third.
noting or containing a carbon atom united to three other carbon atoms.
formed by replacement of three atoms or groups.
(initial capital letter)Geology. noting or pertaining to the period forming the earlier part of the Cenozoic Era, occurring from 65 million to 2 million years ago, characterized by the development and proliferation of mammals.
Ecclesiastical. noting or pertaining to a branch, or third order, of certain religious orders that consists of lay members living in community (regular tertiaries ) or living in the world (secular tertiaries ).
- post-Ter·ti·ar·y, adjective
- pre-Ter·ti·ar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tertiary in a sentence
A resolution that leaves things better than they were before is, at best, a tertiary concern.YouTuber Valkyrae’s skincare fiasco proves online drama doesn’t produce accountability | Nathan Grayson | October 28, 2021 | Washington Post
They also fold into semi-rigid structures before turning into more complicated tertiary models.Deep Learning Is Tackling Another Core Biology Mystery: RNA Structure | Shelly Fan | August 31, 2021 | Singularity Hub
The study confirmed one death and at least 649 cases connected to the rally, including secondary and tertiary spread.Sturgis motorcycle rally linked to more than 100 coronavirus infections amid delta variant’s spread | Brittany Shammas, Hannah Knowles, Dan Keating | August 26, 2021 | Washington Post
Antetokounmpo’s scoring was spectacular, but his tertiary skills alone place him alongside the greats.Giannis Antetokounmpo Has Gone Where Few Players Have Before | Louis Zatzman | July 22, 2021 | FiveThirtyEight
The various three-dimensional, tertiary structures proteins reliably form are largely responsible for adaptive functions, like giving off color when exposed to certain wavelengths of light.
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 | THE DAILY BEAST
My only consolation is the knowledge that the speaker is entirely secondary (or tertiary) to the proceedings.
The tertiary stage commonly begins from three to four years after the primary infection.
The lesions of the tertiary stage may cause great destruction of tissues and very grave consequences.
The bones of the face are frequently attacked in the tertiary stage and they rot away.
Many physicians hold that in the tertiary stage the disease is not transmissible, but that statement is not true.
tertiary Colours are three only, citrine, russet, and olive.Field's Chromatography | George Field
British Dictionary definitions for tertiary (1 of 2)
third in degree, order, etc
(of education) taking place after secondary school, such as at university, college, etc
RC Church of or relating to a Third Order
(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
Also called: tertial ornithol rare of, relating to, or designating any of the small flight feathers attached to the part of the humerus nearest to the body
Also called: tertial ornithol rare any of the tertiary feathers
RC Church a member of a Third Order
British Dictionary definitions for Tertiary (2 of 2)
of, denoting, or formed in the first period of the Cenozoic era, which lasted for 63 million years, during which mammals became dominant
the Tertiary the Tertiary period or rock system, divided into Palaeocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene epochs or series
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 tertiary
Tertiary. The first period of the Cenozoic Era, from about 65 to 2 million years ago. During this time the continents took on their present form, and the climate changed from being warmer and wetter, in the early part of the period, to being drier and cooler in the later part. Mammals replaced dinosaurs as the dominant form of terrestrial animal life, and many modern types of flowering plants, insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds appeared. The Tertiary is subdivided into the Paleogene and the Neogene, although these terms are not as widely used as are the names of the epochs that constitute them. See Chart at geologic time.
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.
Relating to an advanced level of medical care, usually provided by subspecialists after the delivery of primary medical care. Compare primary secondary.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.