Medical Dictionary


adj pri·ma·ry \ˈprī-ˌmer-ē, ˈprīm-(ə-)rē\

Medical Definition of PRIMARY

a (1) :  first in order of time or development (2) :  relating to or being the deciduous teeth and especially the 20 deciduous teeth in the human set b (1) :  arising spontaneously :  idiopathic <primary insomnia> <the absence of any pelvic abnormality confirmed the diagnosis of primary dysmenorrhea> (2) :  being an initial tumor or site especially of cancer <efforts to find the primary tumor have failed—Raphael Feinmesser> c :  providing primary care <a primary physician>
:  not derivable from other colors, odors, or tastes
:  belonging to the first group or order in successive divisions, combinations, or ramifications <primary nerves>
:  of, relating to, or being the amino acid sequence in proteins <primary protein structure>—compare secondary 3, tertiary 2c
:  resulting from the substitution of one of two or more atoms or groups in a molecule; especially :  being or characterized by a carbon atom having a bond to only one other carbon atom
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