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next after the first in order, place, time, etc.
belonging or pertaining to a second order, division, stage, period, rank, grade, etc.
(in scholarly studies) pertaining to or being a derived or derivative account, an evaluation of original data, etc.; not primary or original, as in secondary source; secondary research.
of minor or lesser importance; subordinate; auxiliary.
of or relating to secondary schools.

involving or obtained by the replacement of two atoms or groups.
noting or containing a carbon atom united to two other carbon atoms in a chain or ring molecule.

Electricity. noting or pertaining to the current induced by a primary winding or to the winding in which the current is induced in an induction coil, transformer, or the like.
Geology. noting or pertaining to a mineral produced from another mineral by decay, alteration, or the like.

derived from a word that is itself a derived word:
a secondary derivative.
having reference to past time; noting or pertaining to a past tense:
the Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit secondary tenses.
Compare primary (def 13).

Ornithology. pertaining to any of a set of flight feathers on the second segment of a bird’s wing.
Linguistics. of, relating to, or characteristic of a secondary accent:
secondary stress.
noun, plural secondaries.
a person or thing that is secondary.
a subordinate, assistant, deputy, or agent.
Electricity. a winding in a transformer or the like in which a current is induced by a primary winding.
Ornithology. a secondary feather.
Football. the defensive unit that lines up behind the linemen.
Linguistics. secondary accent.
one grade or step after the first; not primary
derived from or depending on what is primary, original, or first: a secondary source
below the first in rank, importance, etc; not of major importance
(prenominal) of or relating to the education of young people between the ages of 11 and 18: secondary education
(of the flight feathers of a bird’s wing) growing from the ulna

being the part of an electric circuit, such as a transformer or induction coil, in which a current is induced by a changing current in a neighbouring coil: a secondary coil
(of a current) flowing in such a circuit Compare primary (sense 7)

(of an industry) involving the manufacture of goods from raw materials Compare primary (sense 8b), tertiary (sense 2)
(geology) (of minerals) formed by the alteration of pre-existing minerals

(of an organic compound) having a functional group attached to a carbon atom that is attached to one hydrogen atom and two other groups
(of an amine) having only two organic groups attached to a nitrogen atom; containing the group NH
(of a salt) derived from a tribasic acid by replacement of two acidic hydrogen atoms with metal atoms or electropositive groups


derived from a word that is itself a derivation from another word. Thus, lovably comes from lovable and is a secondary derivative from love
(of a tense in Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit) another word for historic (sense 3)

noun (pl) -aries
a person or thing that is secondary
a subordinate, deputy, or inferior
a secondary coil, winding, inductance, or current in an electric circuit
(ornithol) any of the flight feathers that grow from the ulna of a bird’s wing See primary (sense 6)
(astronomy) a celestial body that orbits around a specified primary body: the moon is the secondary of the earth
(med) a cancerous growth in some part of the body away from the site of the original tumour
(American football)

the secondary, cornerbacks and safeties collectively
their area in the field

short for secondary colour

secondary sec·ond·ar·y (sěk’ən-děr’ē)

Of the second rank; not primary.


Minor; lesser.

Derived from what is primary or original.

Of or relating to a chemical compound characterized or formed by replacement of two atoms or radicals within a molecule.

Of, relating to, or being a degree of health care intermediate between that offered in a physician’s office and that available at a research hospital, as the care typically offered at a clinic or community hospital.

sec’ond·ar’i·ly (-dâr’ə-lē) adv.
sec’ond·ar’i·ness n.

Relating to a secondary color.

Relating to or derived from either of the lateral meristems (the cork cambium or the vascular cambium) of vascular plants. For example, secondary xylem in a stem is produced by the vascular cambium, as opposed to primary xylem produced by the apical meristem during the original growth of the stem from a seedling. See also secondary growth.

Relating to or having a carbon atom that is attached to two other carbon atoms in a molecule.

Relating to an organic molecule, such as an alcohol, in which the functional group is attached to a secondary carbon.

Relating to a medical condition that arises as a result of another disorder, disease process, or injury. Compare primary, tertiary.


Read Also:

  • Secondary abdominal pregnancy

    secondary abdominal pregnancy n. A condition in which the embryo or fetus continues to grow in the abdominal cavity after its expulsion from the tube or other site of its primary development. Also called abdominocyesis.

  • Secondary-accent

    noun 1. a stress accent weaker than primary accent but stronger than lack of stress. secondary accent noun 1. (phonetics) (in a system of transcribing utterances recognizing three levels of stress) the accent on a syllable of a word or breath group that is weaker than the primary accent but stronger than the lack of […]

  • Secondary adhesion

    secondary adhesion n. See healing by second intention.

  • Secondary alcohol

    secondary alcohol n. An alcohol containing the bivalent organic radical CHOH.

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