secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio) \

Definition of secondary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of second rank, importance, or value
b : of, relating to, or constituting the second strongest of the three or four degrees of stress recognized by most linguists the fourth syllable of basketball team carries secondary stress
c of a tense : expressive of past time
2a : immediately derived from something original, primary, or basic
b : of, relating to, or being the induced current or its circuit in an induction coil or transformer secondary voltage
c : characterized by or resulting from the substitution of two atoms or groups in a molecule a secondary salt especially : being, characterized by, or attached to a carbon atom having bonds to two other carbon atoms
d(1) : not first in order of occurrence or development
(2) : dependent or consequent on another disease or condition secondary hypertension
(3) : produced by activity of formative tissue and especially cambium other than that at a growing point secondary growth secondary phloem
3a : of, relating to, or being the second order or stage in a series
b : of, relating to, or being the second segment of the wing of a bird or the quills of this segment
c : of or relating to a secondary school secondary education

secondary

noun
plural secondaries

Definition of secondary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one occupying a subordinate or auxiliary position rather than that of a principal
2 : a defensive football backfield
3 : the coil through which the secondary current passes in an induction coil or transformer

called also secondary coil

4 : any of the quill feathers of the forearm of a bird — see wing illustration

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Other Words from secondary

Adjective

secondarily \ ˌse-​kən-​ˈder-​ə-​lē How to pronounce secondarily (audio) \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce secondariness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for secondary

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of secondary in a Sentence

Adjective Winning is secondary—we play for the fun of the sport. There are some secondary issues which must be taken into account as well. I want a car that's reliable; the color is of secondary importance. The secondary roads are indicated on the map with a green line. Better gas mileage is a secondary benefit of reduced speed limits. Noun The team has a strong secondary.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Aghast, the World Bank withheld a $300m loan in 2018 that was intended to fund secondary education. The Economist, "A Tanzanian trilemma Should the World Bank fund schools that expel pregnant girls?," 12 Mar. 2020 Interviews with college and post-secondary level history students across state have illustrated the need to teach Alabama’s black history with depth. al, "Alabama’s black history runs deep, but some students skim the surface," 1 Mar. 2020 The gaps continue despite higher graduation rates from high school and gains in associate’s degrees, post-secondary certificates and bachelor’s degrees. Dallas News, "Race still matters: Why white workers keep getting more of the good jobs," 26 Jan. 2020 But only 9% of incarcerated people complete a post-secondary program. At first, NJ-STEP only offered an associate's program but has since expanded to include bachelor's degrees. Tyler Kendall, CBS News, "He started his college education behind bars. Now he wants to help kids avoid prison.," 17 Jan. 2020 Though in some ways the front-page decisions have become secondary in today’s 24-hour news cycle, many reporters and editors still measure their success by how many of their stories land there. Suzanne Daley, New York Times, "Making the Front Page: How All the News Fits in Print," 23 Dec. 2019 Thus, missing Garrett meant more responsibility on the Browns secondary to defend for a second or two longer. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Freddie Kitchens wants his cornerbacks to ‘attack the ball’ more, so what went wrong for the Browns secondary in Pittsburgh?," 3 Dec. 2019 Buttigieg plans to unveil a post-secondary education plan that would, among other things, dedicate $50 million to Morehouse and other HBCUs. NBC News, "Buttigieg visits Morehouse College in effort to build black support," 19 Nov. 2019 In Colorado, which ranks 47th nationally for post-secondary education state appropriations, funding levels are still 11% below pre-recession funding levels, the report said. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "College costs in Colorado have “spiraled out of control.” Here’s what the state is doing to fix it.," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This should be a typical TCU secondary — angry, physical and aggressive. Dallas News, "TCU defensive back outlook for 2020: Horned Frogs have secondary full of stars," 4 Mar. 2020 With three starters moving on, the next wave of the OSU secondary will be one of the most scrutinized position groups this spring. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football 2020 spring preview: Shaun Wade anchors turnover in secondary," 27 Feb. 2020 Until the middle of this season, Diggs faced Rodgers twice a year as part of the Detroit secondary. Keith Jenkins, BostonGlobe.com, "Packers QB Aaron Rodgers knows a precious opportunity is at hand," 11 Jan. 2020 Ohio State's secondary is veteran and talented with cornerback Jeff Okudah, like Young, rated among the top five NFL draft prospects by ESPN's Mel Kiper. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson scouting report," 27 Dec. 2019 But for an Oregon secondary that has done such a great job keeping a top on its coverage all season, including against the best receivers in the Pac-12, to surrender such a play is nothing short of ghastly. oregonlive, "Contextualizing the rarity of an 81-yard touchdown on third-and-16 and how Oregon Ducks intend to address pass coverage," 27 Nov. 2019 The Tigers’ secondary has allowed just 13 passes of at least 30 yards, which is 21st-fewest nationally this season, with nine of those going for at least 40 yards. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Auburn secondary eager for chance to ‘rock out’ against Minnesota’s pair of 1,000-yard receivers," 29 Dec. 2019 The Seahawks were held to a field goal following Cook's fumble but took a 27-17 lead on their next possession when Moore ran free through the Vikings secondary and Wilson hit him in stride. Tim Booth, chicagotribune.com, "Vikings drop behind the Packers in the NFC North race after a 37-30 loss to the Seahawks," 2 Dec. 2019 The Badgers’ secondary could be shorthanded; top cornerback Faion Hicks is questionable with a head injury and safety Collin Wilder will miss the first half Saturday after a targeting call last week against Purdue. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers football vs. Wisconsin: How to watch and who has the edge?," 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secondary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of secondary

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for secondary

Time Traveler

The first known use of secondary was in the 14th century

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Statistics for secondary

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secondary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secondary. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for secondary

secondary

adjective
How to pronounce secondary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of secondary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not as important or valuable as something else
: of or relating to education of students who have completed primary school
: caused by or coming from something else

secondary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of secondary (Entry 2 of 2)

American football : the players on the defense who are positioned away from the line of scrimmage and who mainly try to stop forward passes by the offense

secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio) \

Kids Definition of secondary

1 : second in rank, value, or importance We need to find water. Food is secondary.
2 : derived from or coming after something original or primary a secondary effect
3 : relating to secondary school a secondary education
4 : relating to or being the second of three levels of stress in pronunciation

secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ ˈsek-ən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio) \

Medical Definition of secondary

1 : not first in order of occurrence or development: as
a : dependent or consequent on another disease secondary diabetes Bright's disease is often secondary to scarlet fever
b : occurring or being in the second stage secondary symptoms of syphilis
c : occurring some time after the original injury a secondary hemorrhage
2 : characterized by or resulting from the substitution of two atoms or groups in a molecule a secondary salt especially : being, characterized by, or attached to a carbon atom having bonds to two other carbon atoms
3 : relating to or being the three-dimensional coiling of the polypeptide chain of a protein especially in the form of an alpha-helix — compare primary entry 1 sense 4, tertiary entry 2 sense 2c

Other Words from secondary

secondarily \ ˌsek-​ən-​ˈder-​ə-​lē How to pronounce secondarily (audio) \ adverb

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secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio) \

Legal Definition of secondary

1 : of second rank, status, importance, or value
2 : derived from something original or primary
3 : of, relating to, or being the second order or stage in a series

Other Words from secondary

secondarily \ ˌse-​kən-​ˈder-​ə-​lē How to pronounce secondarily (audio) \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce secondariness (audio) \ noun

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Comments on secondary

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