Definition of secondary quality
: a mode of perception induced by some character of an object that does not coincide with the perception itself such qualities, which in truth are nothing in the objects themselves, but powers to produce various sensations in us by their primary qualities, i.e. by the bulk, figure, texture, and motion of their insensible parts, as colors, sounds, tastes, etc., these I call secondary qualities — John Locke —called also primary quality and tertiary quality
Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:
- 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up secondary quality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).