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 Rowe would seem to be the most logical candidate to replace McCain at free safety because this former Patriots starter is the most familiar with Brian Flores’ defensive scheme, and the free safety is the leader and signal caller for the secondary. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins place both starting safeties on injured reserve and sign a former Hurricanes standout," 20 Nov. 2019 Weddle, who will be playing against his former team for the first time since being released in the offseason, adds veteran savvy to the secondary. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens vs. Rams scouting report for Week 12: Who has the edge?," 20 Nov. 2019 Which means, even with a dud second-half performance, there’s still plenty to be bullish about in regards to the Broncos’ secondary. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "One bad half hasn’t shaken the confidence of a Broncos passing defense that remains highly ranked in the NFL," 20 Nov. 2019 Slay had three pass breakups and was the lone bright spot on an otherwise awful day for the secondary. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Lions stock watch: Paul Pasqualoni could be Matt Patricia's fall guy," 18 Nov. 2019 Under Avalos the Ducks defensive line is being put in more positions to make stops rather than take on blocks to open up lane for the linebackers to make the plays and the secondary to relied on to play exceptionally and force difficult passes. oregonlive, "J.J. Taylor embarrassed Oregon’s defense last season, can Ducks contain Arizona’s elusive tail back?," 14 Nov. 2019 The physicality Cooke brings to the table is easy to see from the secondary. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "Linebacker Kevin Cooke wrapping up stellar career at IC Catholic, hoping for another shot at a Class 4A state championship," 12 Nov. 2019 The secondary didn't force any interceptions, but for once, opposing receivers weren't running wide open all over the field. Jim Vertuno, Houston Chronicle, "Cameron Dicker FG sends Texas over Kansas State," 9 Nov. 2019 Richard Sherman is thriving in the secondary of the 49ers, which should come up repeatedly during this game. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "N.F.L. Week 10 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Matchup of note Hodgins vs. Washington State’s secondary. oregonlive, "Oregon State Beavers vs. Washington State football: Preview, matchups, notes, how to watch," 22 Nov. 2019 However, a key member of the Colts secondary will not. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "T.Y. Hilton will play vs. Texans; Rock Ya-Sin inactive," 21 Nov. 2019 MSU’s secondary struggled in coverage against the Illini, allowing former U-M QB Brandon Peters to pass for 369 yards and the game-winning TD with 5 seconds left. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Michigan State football can beat Michigan on Saturday," 15 Nov. 2019 Williams Field's secondary picked up a couple of targeting penalties early in this game, showing Sunrise Mountain this would be a physical game. Danny Shapiro, azcentral, "Arizona high school football playoff roundup: Desert Vista outlasts Perry in instant classic," 15 Nov. 2019 Herein lies the issue with Louisville’s secondary: At times, the mental lapses put them in bad situations. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's greatest weakness was exposed against Miami. What went wrong?," 12 Nov. 2019 UW’s secondary wasn’t at its best in the 24-23 loss to Illinois and the Illini’s wide receivers aren’t in the same league as Ohio State’s. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Can UW's secondary contend with OSU's talented and deep wide receiver corps?," 23 Oct. 2019 Oklahoma’s secondary remains mostly unchanged from a year ago, so there’s familiarity on both sides. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "Texas getting key offensive weapon back for Red River Showdown," 10 Oct. 2019 Kansas City had scored at least 25 points in 25 consecutive regular season games, and Indy’s secondary was banged up. Arnie Stapleton, The Denver Post, "Patrick Mahomes’ magic fizzles without mobility," 8 Oct. 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

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Secondary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secondary. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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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