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

Other Words from secondary

Adjective

secondarily \ ˌse-​kən-​ˈder-​ə-​lē How to pronounce secondary (audio) \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce secondary (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Knighten and Kaufman, meanwhile, were key pieces in the secondary. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 5 May 2022 GM Nick Caserio landed starters in the secondary, on the offensive line and at wide receiver, running back and linebacker. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The Bengals have prioritized depth in the secondary since Taylor and Anarumo joined the coaching staff. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 30 Apr. 2022 The picks of Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker will help in the secondary. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 Why the Rams drafted him: The Rams needed depth in the secondary in the wake of Darious Williams’ departure as a free agent to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2022 Jaylon Johnson has been the best player in the secondary. Phil Rogers, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Enter Hill, a versatile defensive back who can fill just about any role in the secondary. Baltimore Sun, 29 Apr. 2022 The Lions have needs across the defense, most notably on the line and in the secondary. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun South Alabama still has more than a half-dozen scholarship slots to fill through the portal, with needs greatest at wide receiver, offensive tackle and in the defensive secondary. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 4 May 2022 Having traded for pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, the Colts' biggest needs — as IndyStar Colts Insider Nate Atkins pointed out in his depth chart — are in the defensive secondary. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2022 Multiple starters need to be replaced on the defensive line and in the defensive secondary. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 11 Jan. 2022 Potentially more so than any other matchup, this one may decide arguably the biggest game in Utah football history: Ohio State’s stud receivers versus Utah’s thin secondary. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Dec. 2021 Nebraska had a chance at the end, making it within Iowa's 35-yard line but the Iowa secondary made the game-clinching play. Kennington Lloyd Smith Iii, USA TODAY, 27 Nov. 2021 Bolden, the team’s leading tackler, leaves behind a young secondary that now has to find a way to deal with the nation’s fourth-highest scoring offense and a Heisman Trophy contender in Pickett. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 30 Oct. 2021 Oregon State has an aggressive secondary that isn’t shy about using its hands. oregonlive, 30 Sep. 2021 Dan Campbell promised lineup changes this week, and the Detroit Lions are making one in their defensive secondary. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 24 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near secondary

secondar

secondary

secondary accent

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Statistics for secondary

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Secondary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secondary. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for secondary

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 secondary (audio) \ adverb

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 secondary (audio) \ adverb
secondariness \ ˈse-​kən-​ˌder-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce secondary (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on secondary

Nglish: Translation of secondary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secondary for Arabic Speakers

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