secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē \

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 \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for secondary

Synonyms: Adjective

inferior, mean, minor, second-class, second-rate

Antonyms: Adjective

greater, higher, superior

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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

The top prospects coincided with the Chiefs’ ongoing need in the secondary. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "NFL’s supplemental draft passes quietly for inactive Chiefs," 11 July 2018 Weaknesses: The defense has to offset the loss of two starters in the secondary, replacing speedy playmakers Mike Minter Jr. and Charvarius Ward. Iliana Limón Romero, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Experienced Middle Tennessee is No. 56 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 2 July 2018 Pick six There may be no richer stable of defensive backs in the state than this year, from Saguaro cornerback Kelee Ringo to Williams Field safety Noa Pola-Gates, Arizona is absolutely loaded with guys in the secondary. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Countdown: 50 things to watch for in the 2018 Arizona high school football season," 29 June 2018 Green Bay also signed veterans Tramon Williams and Davon House to round out the depth in the secondary. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "NFC North Offseason Report Cards: Vikings Go All-In for Kirk Cousins, Packers Bring in TE Help," 21 June 2018 Jones' departure from USC leaves the Trojans looking for answers in the secondary. J. Brady Mccollough, latimes.com, "Former USC cornerback Jack Jones to enroll in junior college," 6 June 2018 The nucleus of returning talent includes Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman up front, Trevathan in the middle and a quartet of returning starters in the secondary in Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Bears defense showing flashes of promise as organized team activities heat up," 16 May 2018 Fitzpatrick can play anywhere in the secondary, although safety and nickel cornerback are best tailored to his skillset. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "The Miami Dolphins will get a partial look at their new roster at rookie minicamp," 11 May 2018 Here’s what the experts and average Joes are saying about the Eagles’ Day 3 picks: Avonte Maddox, Pittsburgh CB The Eagles add some help in the secondary with Pittsburgh's Avonte Maddox. Ej Smith, Philly.com, "Eagles draft analysis: What they're saying about Avonte Maddox and Josh Sweat," 28 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On top of that, the Raiders basically got a new secondary, new No. 2 receiver and new specialists. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2018 Season Record," 7 June 2018 Nickerson’s veteran leadership will be solely missed as Tulane’s secondary undergoes a rebuild thanks to the exit of safety Jarrod Franklin as well. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Tulane Green Wave are fighting to move up in AAC, ranked No. 114 in 2018 college football rankings," 5 May 2018 As the Patriots' secondary has gotten healthier, Jones has returned to mainly special-teams duty, playing 22 defensive snaps in the three games since his stint in the starting lineup. Mark Inabinett, AL.com, "Auburn provides special-team standouts for Saturday night's Titans-Patriots playoff game," 12 Jan. 2018 Secondary strength Go back a year and recall how things went for the Alabama secondary in the spring. Matt Zenitz, AL.com, "Several top NFL teams interested in Rashaan Evans," 3 Apr. 2018 If those two stay healthy, the Ravens will have one of the deepest secondaries in the league. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "AFC North offseason grades: The Browns got a lot better but at what cost?," 17 May 2018 During the celebration of that touchdown, Watts-Jackson broke his hip and never established himself as a regular piece in Michigan State's secondary. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Former Michigan State Hero Jalen Watts-Jackson Joining the Air Force," 5 July 2018 Our secondary did a great job rallying to the ball. OrlandoSentinel.com, "West Orange routs Gainesville in spring football," 25 May 2018 His fastball sat 94-98 mph, while his secondaries – a budding curve and change-up to combat lefties’ success against him – showed significant improvement. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Eric Lauer's turn to impress; Jankowski homers twice," 10 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for secondary

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for secondary

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

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More Definitions for secondary

secondary

adjective

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 \

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 \

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 sense 4, tertiary sense 2c

Other Words from secondary

secondarily \ ˌsek-​ən-​ˈder-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary | \ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē \

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 \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs \ noun

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