secondary

1 of 2

adjective

sec·​ond·​ary ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
secondarily adverb
secondariness noun

secondary

2 of 2

noun

plural secondaries
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

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
Many of Jumby Bay’s owners use their homes as secondary or tertiary vacation homes, and the homes are often available for rent. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 22 Nov. 2023 Zambrana said that under the contracts, Chinese technicians travel to Bolivia about once a year to access the base, usually via a secondary ground station that communicates with Amachuma from the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. Cate Cadell, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 Neither the fees themselves nor hiding them to the end of a purchase is unique to Ticketmaster as both primary and secondary ticketing platforms tack on fees. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 20 Nov. 2023 Top researchers are being secured by multimillion-dollar payment packages, but for the most passionate, money is a secondary consideration to the question of how more powerful AI is to be developed and deployed. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 As a secondary task, greenhouse gas sensing overall has taken a back seat; in the scant time available to date for emissions work, the team has prioritized studying methane over carbon dioxide because methane sources aren’t as well understood, according to mission personnel. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 17 Nov. 2023 Still, some evidence suggests that weak striatal dopamine transporters (DATs) might cause primary and secondary parasitosis. Korin Miller, Health, 17 Nov. 2023 Stubhub, meanwhile, said the Las Vegas Grand Prix is the best-selling F1 race of the year and ranks among the top 10 highest-selling sporting events of the entire year globally on the secondary site. Jenna Fryer, Fortune Europe, 17 Nov. 2023 When conditions are right—a little moisture in the air, low temperatures—all the gaseous pollutants, specifically nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ammonia, start reacting and create secondary particulate matter, says Somvanshi. WIRED, 13 Nov. 2023
Noun
Brian Wacker, reporter Ravens 27, Texans 13: Lamar Jackson has a history of being surgical in season openers (3-1 record, 69% completion rate, 1,047 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, one interception) and that should continue against one of the league’s weakest secondaries. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 Cornerback Christian Gonzalez could play a big role in the New England secondary's next evolution after the retirement of Devin McCourty. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Sep. 2023 Oregon will be facing a Colorado secondary that will utilize a variety of players to fill the void at cornerback left due to the injury to two-way star Travis Hunter. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 Bourne produced six receptions, 64 yards and two scores against a good secondary. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, through just three games in 2023, the Tigers have already recorded five interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries, meaning Auburn’s defensive secondary is winning the inner-defense competition. Ainslie Lee | Alee@al.com, al, 17 Sep. 2023 The Longhorn secondary is experienced, featuring cornerbacks Terrance Bush and Ryant Watts, along with safeties Jalen Catalan and Jerrin Thompson. Matt Stahl | Mstahl@al.com, al, 6 Sep. 2023 In June, the website Pro Football Focus ranked NFL secondaries for the 2023 season. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2023 His ability to find holes within the crevasses of the Colonel secondary was impressive. Evan Merrill, The Enquirer, 19 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'secondary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near secondary

Cite this Entry

“Secondary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secondary. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

secondary

1 of 2 adjective
sec·​ond·​ary ˈsek-ən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio)
1
a
: of second rank, importance, or value
secondary considerations
b
: of, relating to, or being the second strongest of the three or four levels of stress
the last syllable of "refrigerate" has secondary stress
2
a
: coming from something original or basic
b
: of, relating to, or being the current created by a change in the primary current or the circuit of the created current in an induction coil or transformer
a secondary coil
secondary voltage
3
a
: of, relating to, or being a second rank or grade in a series
b
: of or relating to a secondary school
secondarily
ˌsek-ən-ˈder-ə-lē
adverb

secondary

2 of 2 noun
plural secondaries
1
: the defensive football players who line up behind the line of scrimmage
2
: any of the quill feathers attached to the ulna of the wing of a bird
3
: the coil through which the secondary current passes in an induction coil or transformer

called also secondary coil

Medical Definition

secondary

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

Legal Definition

secondary

adjective
sec·​ond·​ary ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē How to pronounce secondary (audio)
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
secondarily adverb
secondariness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on secondary

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