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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective No one in the Saints' starting ranks in the secondary appears on the injury report this week, though veteran backup cornerback Patrick Robinson missed xx practices with a hamstring injury that's hampered him for the latter half of the season. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "The Edge: How does 3rd game between Saints, Bucs shape up for matchups?," 15 Jan. 2021 Javier Arenas and Mark Barron were both first-team all-SEC selections in the secondary. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Players weigh in: Could Alabama’s 2009 defense stop the 2020 offense?," 14 Jan. 2021 The Bills’ defense has several players capable of serious disruption, but much of that comes in the secondary. New York Times, "N.F.L. Playoff Predictions: Our Picks in the Divisional Round," 14 Jan. 2021 But his performance in 2020 was better, considering the team had traded DeForest Buckner, Nick Bosa played one game, Richard Sherman wasn’t on the field much, and there were 14 different starting combinations in the secondary. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers coach candidates: 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh," 14 Jan. 2021 Compounding the problems on defense this season was the fact that the Cowboys were just as bad in the secondary. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Dan Quinn’s future in Dallas hinges on Cowboys reversing a decade-long trend in the NFL draft," 13 Jan. 2021 The lone concern will be experience in the secondary. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Alabama, Georgia lead the way in early look at the Top 25 for the 2021 college football season," 12 Jan. 2021 Some or all of the defensive solutions — particularly in the secondary — must come from the current roster. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State’s resilient season ends with no answer for DeVonta Smith, Alabama in national championship game," 11 Jan. 2021 Diggs, who finished with six total tackles in the game, has been an anchor in the secondary, with a career-high five interceptions and a Pro Bowl selection. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks rally for a win over the San Francisco 49ers: 10 studs and duds," 3 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl last week, Smith opened the scoring by blazing past the Irish secondary for the first of his three touchdowns on seven receptions for 130 yards. Jacob Myers, USA TODAY, "Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, a Heisman finalist, poses big threat to Ohio State in college football title game," 6 Jan. 2021 On defense, the Ravens again won with pressure, betting correctly that their thin secondary would hold up. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Instant analysis: Ravens beat Giants, 27-13, can clinch a playoff berth with win in Week 17," 27 Dec. 2020 All the pressure helped keep the heat off an undermanned secondary that was playing without cornerbacks Marcus Peters (calf) and Jimmy Smith (shoulder, ribs). Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens vs. Giants scouting report for Week 16: Who has the edge?," 24 Dec. 2020 That’s a young secondary that has had its moments and an aggressive front seven led by linebackers Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe and end Big Kat Bryant. Charles Hollis, al, "Auburn must disrupt freshman QB, keep up with LSU’s offense," 30 Oct. 2020 The Rams, thanks to a persistent pass rush that annoyed Russell Wilson and an aggressive secondary that picked Wilson off twice, held Seattle to just 16 points. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "NFL Week 10 winners, losers: Time to add Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray to MVP debate," 16 Nov. 2020 The key to the Lions’ victory will be how well Matthew Stafford and the offense avoids turnovers against a great pass rush and an opportunistic secondary led by Kendall Fuller, who has four interceptions. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions predictions vs. Washington Football Team: Who wins battle of bad teams?," 15 Nov. 2020 The Vikings’ 1-5 start came with plenty of defensive issues as a young secondary got its first game action against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan. Star Tribune, "Vikings coaches at the halfway point," 14 Nov. 2020 Oliver, a junior, also played his part in the win with regular reps in the defensive secondary. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, "Birmingham Groves' 'Chicago 3' helps Falcons soar in MHSAA football playoffs," 8 Nov. 2020

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

27 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secondary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secondary. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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

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Comments on secondary

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