• WordNet 3.6
    • adj tertiary coming next after the second and just before the fourth in position
    • n Tertiary from 63 million to 2 million years ago
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tertiary (R. C. Ch) A member of the Third Order in any monastic system; as, the Franciscan tertiaries; the Dominican tertiaries; the Carmelite tertiaries . See Third Order, under Third.
    • Tertiary Being of the third formation, order, or rank; third; as, a tertiary use of a word.
    • Tertiary (Zoöl) Growing on the innermost joint of a bird's wing; tertial; -- said of quills.
    • Tertiary (Geol) Later than, or subsequent to, the Secondary.
    • Tertiary (Zoöl) One of the quill feathers which are borne upon the basal joint of the wing of a bird. See Illust. of Bird.
    • Tertiary (Chem) Possessing some quality in the third degree; having been subjected to the substitution of three atoms or radicals; as, a tertiary alcohol, amine, or salt. Cf. Primary, and Secondary.
    • Tertiary (Geol) The Tertiary era, period, or formation.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • tertiary Of the third order, rank, or formation; third.
    • tertiary In geology, of, pertaining to, or occurring in the Tertiary. See II. .
    • tertiary In ornithology, same as tertial: distinguished from secondary and from primary. See cuts under bird and covert, n., 6.
    • tertiary Belonging or pertaining To the Tertiaries. See II. .
    • n tertiary One who or that which is tertiary, or third in order or succession. Specifically— [capitalized] In geology, that part of the series of geological formations which lies above the Mesozoic or Secondary and below the Quaternary; the “Cænozoic” of some authors, while others include in this division both Tertiary and Quaternary. The term Tertiary belongs to au early-period in the history of geology, the entire series having been divided into Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. The term transition was afterward introduced (see transition), and Quaternary still later; but the Quaternary has been considered by some as being rather a subdivision of the Tertiary, since it seems to have been of relatively short duration, and not anywhere preceded by any break to be compared in importance with that which in various regions characterizes the passage from Mesozoic to Tertiary. The Tertiary was divided by Lyell into three groups or systems, the basis of this classification being the percentage of living species of Mollusca in each group; these divisions were designated by him as the Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene, to which a fourth was added later by Beyrich, namely the Oligocene, intercalated between the Eocene and Miocene. This scheme of subdivision is still accepted as convenient and philosophical, although strict regard is not paid to the precise percentages of living species indicated by Lyell. The subdivisions of these larger divisions which have been found necessary in different regions vary considerably in number and character. The break between the Cretaceous and the Tertiary in northwestern Europe is, on the whole, very marked in character; in various other parts of the world it is much less apparent. The more important and striking features of the Tertiary may be very concisely summed up as follows: evidence of the greatly increasing importance of the surface of the land as compared with that of the water, as shown by the local and detrital character, and the small and rapidly varying thickness, of the deposits, together with the rapidly increasing development of a land-fauna and -flora; the uplifting of the great mountain-chains of the globe, an operation performed on a gigantic scale, some parts of the early Tertiary having been raised to an elevation of nearly 20,000 feet above the sea-level; the almost entire disappearance of many of those forms of animal life which were prominent during the Mesozoic epoch, as of the cephalopods, the gigantic reptiles, and especially the development of the Mammalia in ever-increasing numbers and diversity of type; the very much diminished importance both as respects numbers and size of many of those forms of vegetable life which were most prominent in pre-Tertiary times, such as the ferns, the lycopods, and the cycads, and the development of modern forest vegetation, in which the dicotyledonous angio-sperms play a very important part; the zonal distribution of life and climate; the evidence, furnished in abundance in various parts of the world, of a marked diminution in temperature going on through Tertiary times, the proof of which, if begun before the Tertiary, could only be obtained with great difficulty, if at all, owing to the small relative importance of the land-areas; and, finally, the appearance of man upon the earth, an event which took place, so far as is known from present available evidence, some time before the close of the Pliocene. See also Posttertiary, Quaternary, and recent, 4.
    • n tertiary A color, as russet, citrine, or olive, produced by the mixture of two secondary colors. Tertiaries are grays, and are either red-gray, blue-gray, or yellow-gray when these primaries are in excess, or violet-gray, orange-gray, or green-gray when these secondaries are in excess.
    • n tertiary Same as tertial.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Tertiary tėr′shi-ar-i of the third degree, order, or formation: pertaining to the series of sedimentary rocks or strata lying above the chalk and other secondary strata, and abounding in organic remains—the Cainozoic:
    • n Tertiary one who, or that which, is tertiary
    • adj Tertiary tėr′shi-ar-i (ornith.) tertial
    • ***


  • Karl Kraus
    “Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. tertiarius, containing a third part, fr. tertius, third: cf. F. tertiaire,. See Tierce
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. tertiariustertius.


In literature:

It was unmistakable proof that the formation was not drift, but tertiary; not of fresh, but salt water origin.
"The Andes and the Amazon" by James Orton
Loam of tertiary drift 4 feet below the surface.
"Talks on Manures" by Joseph Harris
Between the Tertiary-capped Chalk plateau and the Thames, a gentler slope, covered with alluvial gravel and brick earth, reaches down to the river.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3" by Various
Coal is found in the Tertiary deposits in the valley of the Irrawaddy and in Tenasserim.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various
Fact is that all of us were going about as fast as we could go, with safety of tertiary importance.
"Highways in Hiding" by George Oliver Smith
Had Cuvier himself applied his methods to many forms from the early tertiary or older formations he would have failed.
"Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution" by Alpheus Spring Packard
Accordingly I shall begin by saying that colors are primary, secondary, and tertiary.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864" by Various
Beyond the Indus the hills of the Kohat district and a part of the Suliman range are of Tertiary age.
"The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir" by Sir James McCrone Douie
Tertiary deposits of Slavonia (after Neumayr).
"Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3)" by George John Romanes
The next in grade is found in Tertiary strata.
"The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science" by Various

In poetry:

Now steps Ryanus forth at call of furious Mars,
And from his oaken staff the sphere speeds to the stars;
And now he gains the tertiary goal, and turns,
While whiskered balls play round the timid staff of Burns.
"At The Ball Game" by Roswell Martin Field

In news:

Methyl tertiary butyl ether China Transcript.
How to specify them as primary, secondary or tertiary.
Federal and state requirements for improved effluent quality from wastewater treatment works have led to the development of tertiary treatment processes for the removal of nitrate-nitrogen and suspended solids.
A 14-year-old girl who had been experiencing ear discharge for the previous 3 years was referred to a tertiary care center for management of a 3-day history of severe headache and vomiting.
These finishing steps also imparted life-like realism by better defining line angles (eg, second anatomy, tertiary anatomy).
Conway is the first of two neurologists that Swedish Medical Center will bring to the peninsula under the terms of the recent Olympic Medical Center-Swedish "tertiary affiliate" agreement.
Trinity CO2 buying SandRidge Tertiary for $130M.
After nine months of planning and research, OMC CEO Eric Lewis told the board of commissioners that Swedish is the best choice to serve as a " tertiary " associate for the local hospital system.
The three northern peninsula hospitals are together seeking a " tertiary associate" — a big-time medical facility that would provide a number of services the smaller facilities cannot offer.
Ending the Year on a Tertiary Note.
Tertiary , despite managing to simultaneously sound like both euphemistic bureaucratese and ripping flesh, is a Latinate word that means, simply, third.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.
Or the refinery product methyl tertiary butyl ether, causes tumors in rats and may do so in humans.
More than 320 tertiary students are making the most of an exemption for student allowances due to be axed next year, Ministry of Social Development figures show.
Based on extensive wireline evaluation, the discovery well encountered several hundred ft of net oil pay in multiple Inboard Lower Tertiary sands.

In science:

For the four photometric bands already calibrated in R09, we compared uniformity and absolute calibrations between the new and prior tertiary catalogs. A sign mistake affecting the R09 catalog was discovered in this comparison.
Improved Photometric Calibration of the SNLS and the SDSS Supernova Surveys
Following the discovery of a non-uniformity in the SDSS PT flat-field, this work introduces two changes to the SDSS tertiary catalogs.
Improved Photometric Calibration of the SNLS and the SDSS Supernova Surveys
The first is a correction of the tertiary catalog flat-fielding based on the Data Release 8 SDSS catalog (Padmanabhan et al. 2008) flat-fielding solution.
Improved Photometric Calibration of the SNLS and the SDSS Supernova Surveys
In this review, we will be concerned with the tertiary structure, and rather emphasize the heterogeneity of the primary sequences of proteins.
Protein folding and heteropolymers
Following a standard hadronic event selection, each event is divided into two hemispheres where secondary (and tertiary) vertices are found.
Measurements of Z0 Electroweak Couplings at SLD