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

Everything else, from your other political allegiances to your proposals for a post-occupation status quo, is secondary. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 The Chiefs have retooled their secondary, with the addition of nickel back Kendall Fuller and cornerback David Amerson, but could be in the market for more talent. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Not so fast: Chiefs might not be finished drafting players for 2018," 10 July 2018 These [secondary] market places can offer up a lot of tickets. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "Fair Ticketing Alliance's Scot Tobias Defends Ticket Resellers: 'The Bottom Line Is the Public Loves the Secondary Market'," 4 June 2018 Ten other states require back-seat passengers to wear seat belts but enforcement is secondary - which means law enforcement must have another reason to pull a vehicle over. Fredrick Kunkle, ajc, "Uber will use its app to remind riders to buckle up," 23 May 2018 Between Murphy, Myles Bryant and safeties JoJo McIntosh and Taylor Rapp, opposing passing games will be hard-pressed to find holes in the Huskies’ secondary. 22. Chris Johnson And Eric Single, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2018: Nos. 30-11," 20 June 2018 The secondary has been outstanding in man coverage, because the front seven — led by Mattison's group — has created 83 hurries and 88 sacks over the past two seasons. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's defensive line may be outstanding with Rashan Gary as star," 10 June 2018 Idaho’s salaries for primary and secondary teachers lag behind the national averages by 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Kevin Richert, idahostatesman, "Think teacher salaries are low in Idaho? This study confirms it.," 12 July 2018 According to the plea agreement, company funds were used to pay a housekeeper to regularly clean his boat and his primary and secondary residences. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Highland Park businessman sentenced to 2 years for tax evasion," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 During the last two or three years the Ravens secondary seemed to have communication problems, especially when playing a zone. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Preston: Rebuilding the offense is fine, but the Ravens need to find pass rushers, too," 25 June 2018 The Chargers' secondary could be a real pain in the neck for opposing quarterbacks and pass-catchers next season. Mike Digiovanna, latimes.com, "Chargers start workouts thinking deep defensive backfield might be secondary to none," 15 May 2018 Settling for a solid secondary shouldn't be the Saints' strategy heading into this week's NFL Draft. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Secondary shouldn't be a Saints afterthought in this weekend's NFL Draft," 24 Apr. 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

16 Sep 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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Comments on secondary

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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