Meaning of primary

primary




Primary means basically “first.” When you vote in a primary, that is the first election in a series. When a matter is of primary concern, it means it’s of first importance. Primary school is the first you go to (after nursery school, at least).

There’s an interesting alternate system for counting first, second, third, etc. up to tenth. It’s primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, and denary. There’s also a word for twelfth, duodenary, though that — along with all the words after tertiary — is rarely used.

Definitions of primary
  1. adjective

    of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary

    primary goals”
    “a
    primary effect”
    primary sources”
    “a
    primary interest”
    Synonyms:

    essential

    basic and fundamental
    first

    preceding all others in time or space or degree
    original

    being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of
    capital

    of primary importance
    direct

    being an immediate result or consequence
    firsthand

    received directly from a source
    first-string

    being a regular member of a team
    original

    (of e.g. information) not secondhand or by way of something intermediary
    particular, special

    first and most important
    see moresee less

    Antonyms:

    secondary

    being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate
    inessential, unessential

    not basic or fundamental
    unoriginal

    not original; not being or productive of something fresh and unusual
    alternate, alternative, substitute

    serving or used in place of another
    auxiliary, subsidiary, supplemental, supplementary

    functioning in a supporting capacity
    collateral

    accompanying; concomitant
    indirect

    not as a direct effect or consequence
    secondhand

    derived from what is primary or original; not firsthand
    second-string

    being a replacement or substitute for a regular member of a team
    standby

    ready for emergency use
    thirdhand

    derived from what is primary or original by two intermediate steps
    tributary

    (of a stream) flowing into a larger stream
    substitute, utility

    capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team
    vicarious

    experienced at secondhand
    show more antonyms…

  2. adjective

    of primary importance

    synonyms:

    basal

    essential

    basic and fundamental
  3. adjective

    most important

    “policemen were
    primary targets”
    synonyms:

    chief, main, master, principal

    important, of import

    of great significance or value
  4. adjective

    of or being the essential or basic part

    synonyms:

    elemental, elementary

    basic

    pertaining to or constituting a base or basis
  5. adjective

    not derived from or reducible to something else; basic

    “a
    primary instinct”
    Synonyms:

    underived

    not derived; primary or simple
  6. noun

    a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen

    synonyms:

    primary election

    see moresee less

    types:

    direct primary

    a primary where voters directly select the candidates who will run for office
    closed primary

    a primary in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote
    open primary

    a primary in which any registered voter can vote (but must vote for candidates of only one party)
    type of:

    election

    a vote to select the winner of a position or political office

  7. noun

    one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of a bird’s wing

    synonyms:

    primary feather, primary quill

    see moresee less

    type of:

    flight feather, pinion, quill, quill feather

    any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird

  8. noun

    (astronomy) a celestial body (especially a star) relative to other objects in orbit around it

    see moresee less

    type of:

    celestial body, heavenly body

    natural objects visible in the sky

  9. noun

    coil forming the part of an electrical circuit such that changing current in it induces a current in a neighboring circuit

    “current through the
    primary coil induces current in the secondary coil”
    synonyms:

    primary coil, primary winding

    see moresee less

    type of:

    coil

    reactor consisting of a spiral of insulated wire that introduces inductance into a circuit

Word Family

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