• WordNet 3.6
    • adj secondary belonging to a lower class or rank
    • adj secondary not of major importance "played a secondary role in world events"
    • adj secondary being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate "the stone will be hauled to a secondary crusher","a secondary source","a secondary issue","secondary streams"
    • adj secondary depending on or incidental to what is original or primary "a secondary infection"
    • adj secondary inferior in rank or status "the junior faculty","a lowly corporal","petty officialdom","a subordinate functionary"
    • n secondary coil such that current is induced in it by passing a current through the primary coil
    • n secondary the defensive football players who line up behind the linemen
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Slinkys were invented by an airplane mechanic; he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use of one of the springs
    • Secondary (Astron) A satellite.
    • Secondary (Astron) A secondary circle.
    • Secondary (Zoöl) A secondary quill.
    • Secondary Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as, the work of secondary hands.
    • Secondary (Med) Dependent or consequent upon another disease; as, Bright's disease is often secondary to scarlet fever.
    • Secondary (Med) Occurring in the second stage of a disease; as, the secondary symptoms of syphilis.
    • Secondary One who occupies a subordinate, inferior, or auxiliary place; a delegate or deputy; one who is second or next to the chief officer; as, the secondary, or undersheriff of the city of London. "Old Escalus . . . is thy secondary ."
    • Secondary (Zoöl) Pertaining to the second joint of the wing of a bird.
    • Secondary (Chem) Possessing some quality, or having been subject to some operation (as substitution), in the second degree; as, a secondary salt, a secondary amine, etc. Cf. primary.
    • Secondary (Min) Subsequent in origin; -- said of minerals produced by alteration or deposition subsequent to the formation of the original rock mass; also of characters of minerals (as secondary cleavage, etc.) developed by pressure or other causes.
    • Secondary Succeeding next in order to the first; of second place, origin, rank, etc.; not primary; subordinate; not of the first order or rate. "Wheresoever there is moral right on the one hand, no secondary right can discharge it.""Two are the radical differences; the secondary differences are as four."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: An airplane mechanic invented Slinky while he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use for the springs. Barbie was invented by Ruth Handler after watching her daughter play with baby dolls imagining then in grown up roles
    • secondary Of asecond class or group; second, not merely as so counted, but in its own nature; appropriately reckoned as second; fulfilling a function similar to that which is primary, but less important: opposed to primary or principal. That which is secondary, properly speaking, differs from anything subsidiary or subordinate in that the latter only serves to enable the primary to fulfil its function, while the secondary thing fulfils a similar but less important function. Thus, a subsidiary purpose is a means to an ultimate end; but a secondary purpose or end is a weaker motive reinforcing a stronger one.
    • secondary Subordinate; inferior.
    • secondary In ornithology:
    • secondary Of the second order, rank, row, or series, between the primary and the tertiary, as remiges or flight-feathers. See cuts under covert, n., 6, and bird.
    • secondary Pertaining to the secondaries: as, the secondary coverts. These are the largest and most conspicuous of the tectrices of a bird's wing, and are divided into greater, median or middle, and lesser. See cut under covert, n., 6.
    • secondary In mineralogy, subsequent in origin; produced by chemical change or by mechanical or other means after the original mineral was formed: said of cleavage, twinning, etc.: as, the secondary twinning sometimes developed in pyroxene and other species by pressure.
    • secondary [capitalized] In paleon., same as Mesozoic
    • secondary In modern philos., since Galileo (who in 1623 calls the qualities known as primary “primi accidenti”) and Boyle (who in 1666 uses the term “secondary qualities, if I may so call them,” in precisely the modern signification), affections of bodies; affective, patible, sensible qualities; imputed qualities; qualities of bodies relative to the organs of sense, as color, taste, smell, etc.: opposed to those characters (called primary qualities, though properly speaking they are not qualities at all) which we cannot imagine bodies as wanting. Sometimes called secondary properties.
    • n secondary A delegate or deputy; one who acts in subordination to another; one who occupies a subordinate or inferior position; specifically, a cathedral dignitary of the second rank, such as a minor canon, precentor, singing clerk, etc. The application of the title varies in different cathedrals.
    • n secondary A thing which is of second or secondary position or importance, or is dependent on a primary: said of circles, planets, etc.
    • n secondary Specifically.
    • n secondary A secondary remex or flight-feather; one of the large quills of a bird's wing which are seated on the forearm, and intervene between the primaries and the tertiaries. They vary in number from six (in humming-birds) to forty or more (in albatrosses). See cuts under bird and covert.
    • n secondary In entomology, one of the posterior or hind wings of an insect, especially of a butterfly or moth. See cut under Cirrophanus.
    • n secondary [capitalized] In geology, that part of the series of fossi-liferous formations which lies between the Primary or Paleozoic and the Tertiary or Cænozoic. Same as Mesozoic, a word introduced by John Phillips after Paleozoic had become current. Paleozoic and Mesozoic are now terms in general use; but Cænozoic, corresponding to Tertiary, is much less common. Secondary as at present used by geologists has a quite different meaning from that which it originally had when introduced by Lehmann, about the middle of the eighteenth century. According to his classification, all rocks were divided into primitive, secondary, and alluvial. This classification was improved by Werner, who intercalated a “Transition series” between the primary and the secondary. See Mesozoic, Paleozoic, Tertiary, and Transition.
    • n secondary In meteorology, a subsidiary cyclonic circulation, generally on the border of a primary cyclone, accompanied by rain, thunder-storms, and squalls: indicated on a weather-map by the bulging of an isobar toward the region of higher pressure.
    • secondary In geology, applied to those rock-making minerals which are the products of the alteration or decay of the minerals, original or primary, in the rock. Thus quartz, feldspar, and mica are primary in granite, whereas kaolin, arising from the decay of the feldspar, is secondary.
    • secondary In electricity: Pertaining to those parts of a transformer, or induction-coil, in which the induced currents occur, as distinguished from the corresponding parts of the primary or inducing circuit; as the secondary coils, windings, turns, or terminals of a transformer.
    • secondary Pertaining to the induced current or electromotive force in a transformer or induction-coil.
    • n secondary plural The symptoms occurring in the second stage of syphilis.
    • n secondary One of the smaller tubercles on the surface of the test in the Echinoidea or sea-urchins. The secondaries are intermediate in size between the primaries and the miliaries.
    • n secondary In English law, the second officer of the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas; also, an officer of the Corporation of London who hears inquiries to assess damages in cases where the defendant does not appear.
    • n secondary In an alternating-current transformer or other apparatus having several circuits in inductive relation to each other, that coil or circuit which receives power by induction from the primary coil.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The three primary colors are red, yellow and blue. The three secondary colors are green, orange and purple.
    • adj Secondary following or coming after the first: second in position: inferior: subordinate: deputed
    • ***


  • Karl Kraus
    “Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects and please or displease only in the memory.”
  • Swami Vivekananda
    Swami Vivekananda
    “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. secondaire, L. secundaire,. See Second (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. secundussequi, secutus, to follow.


In literature:

Boulogne was only a secondary port of embarkation, but I can vividly recall the scene.
"1914" by John French, Viscount of Ypres
These secondary qualities are colours, sounds, tastes, etc.
"The World's Greatest Books--Volume 14--Philosophy and Economics" by Various
The second circle is composed of the secondaries; the third circle, the tertiaries, and the outer circle, the quaternaries.
"Color Value" by C. R. Clifford
It was the secondary armament of the American ships, the guns of medium calibre, that proved most effective in the running fight.
"Famous Sea Fights" by John Richard Hale
The two lowest are met with in the Secondary strata.
"The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science" by Various
As for Guyot Duclos, his secondary share in the enterprise, and his plebeian rank, excluded him from reward.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
Furuncular or abscess-like formations may develop, usually from secondary infection.
"Essentials of Diseases of the Skin" by Henry Weightman Stelwagon
The Moselle wines are secondary to those of the Rhine and Main.
"The Automobilist Abroad" by M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield
These schools will be given mention in the secondary group.
"The Condition and Tendencies of Technical Education in Germany" by Arthur Henry Chamberlain
Many secondary and primary schools were founded all over the country and public instruction made considerable progress.
"Belgium" by Emile Cammaerts

In poetry:

But yesterday I banked on fistic fame,
Figgerin' I'd be a champion of the Ring.
Today I've half a mind to quit the Game,
For all them rosy dreams have taken wing,
Since last night a secondary bout
I let a goddam nigger knock me out.
"Beak-Bashing Boy" by Robert W Service

In news:

But if it's a key situation, I don't want to get beat by my secondary pitches.
Morse-McNeeley, a secondary special education teacher.
They are exceptionally high in vitamin A and a secondary source of calcium and iron.
The Pella Rural Fire Department and Pella Secondary Ambulance responded to an out-of-control grass fire at approximately 4:30 pm Wednesday.
Wong's look is secondary to what is on the plate, where all signs point to Asia.
Secondary current events, social studies, communication arts, history and journalism classes.
Barring an injury in the secondary, A.J.
"Hopefully, I will work with children, maybe in day care, after I graduate," said Mr McMamee, an 18-year-old senior at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Va.
About a quarter of secondary school students take the elective class nationally, according to a 2004 study.
Redskins' secondary turnover is indicative of a sport in which careers are short.
Virginia hopes talent will trump inexperience in secondary.
The Montana Grizzlies defensive secondary is young and inexperienced , while having to fill the void of Trumaine Johnson's departure to the NFL.
Stanford's secondary is going to be young next season.
Scot Sloan, Appalachian State's secondary coach, returned from a workout just past noon Monday and walked down a hall toward his office — and noticed that a meeting-room door was closed.
Secondary Symptoms That You Need to Watch For.

In science:

Secondary data paths for the ad hoc primary model: a secondary S-D pair goes around if it is blocked by a preservation region.
Cognitive Networks Achieve Throughput Scaling of a Homogeneous Network
The secondary mirror of the telescope is linked to the primary by a tripod made of carbon fiber with narrow fins (5 mm thickness) fixed at the back of the secondary, also to limit the thermal background from the unit.
The Molecular Hydrogen Explorer H2EX
We consider an (imaginary) secondary stack with parameter ρ, or simply ρ-secondary stack.
Poisson Cloning Model for Random Graphs
As the WCR is pushed into the acceleration zone of the secondary wind the shocked secondary wind becomes increasingly radiative (χ2 = 3.6 in the left panel and 0.71 in the right panel) and the WCR becomes increasingly unstable.
3D modelling of the colliding winds in Eta Carinae - evidence for radiative inhibition
Here we consider what will be referred to as “fast” secondaries which are normal modes that satisfy the condition |ωs | (cid:29) |ωp | where ωs and ωp are the secondary and primary mode frequencies.
The theory of gyrokinetic turbulence: A multiple-scales approach