AskDefine | Define secondary

Dictionary Definition

secondary adj
1 of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate; "the stone will be hauled to a secondary crusher"; "a secondary source"; "a secondary issue"; "secondary streams" [ant: primary]
2 inferior in rank or status; "the junior faculty"; "a lowly corporal"; "petty officialdom"; "a subordinate functionary" [syn: junior-grade, inferior, lower, lower-ranking, lowly, petty(a), subaltern, subordinate]
3 depending on or incidental to what is original or primary; "a secondary infection"
4 not of major importance; "played a secondary role in world events"
5 belonging to a lower class or rank


1 the defensive football players who line up behind the linemen
2 coil such that current is induced in it by passing a current through the primary coil [syn: secondary coil, secondary winding]

User Contributed Dictionary



From secundarius.



  1. Succeeding next in order to the first; of second place, origin, rank, rank, etc.; not primary; subordinate; not of the first order or rate.
  2. Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as, the work of secondary hands.
  3. Possessing some quality, or having been subject to some operation (as substitution), in the second degree; as, a secondary salt, a secondary amine, etc. Cf. primary.
  4. Subsequent in origin; -- said of minerals produced by alteration or deposition subsequent to the formation of the original rocks mass; also of characters of minerals (as secondary cleavage, etc.) developed by pressure or other causes.
  5. Pertaining to the second joint of the wing of a bird.
  6. Dependent or consequent upon another disease; as, Bright's disease is often secondary to scarlet fever. (b) Occuring in the second stage of a disease; as, the secondary symptoms of syphilis.


succeeding first
  • Greek: δευτερεύων (defterévon)
  • Dutch: secundair
acting by deputation

See also

Extensive Definition

Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to:
secondary in Spanish: Secundario
secondary in Persian: ثانوی
secondary in French: Secondaire

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Janus-like, Maxwell triangle, Munsell scale, accessory, accident, accidental, addendum, addition, additional, adjunct, adscititious, adventitious, advocate, agent, alter ego, alternate, alternative, ambidextrous, amicus curiae, analogy, ancillary, appendage, appurtenance, appurtenant, ascititious, assistant, attorney, auxiliary, backup, backup man, bifacial, bifold, biform, bilateral, binary, binate, biparous, bivalent, borrowed, casual, champion, change, changeling, chromatic circle, chromatic spectrum, chromaticity diagram, circumstantial, cog, collateral, color circle, color cycle, color index, color mixture curve, color solid, color spectrum, color system, color triangle, coming, common, commonality, commonalty, comparison, complementary color, conduplicate, consequent, contingency, contingent, copied, copy, counterfeit, covert, creature, demeaning, demitint, dependent, deputy, derivational, derivative, derived, dinky, disadvantaged, disomatous, double, double-faced, dual, dummy, duple, duplex, duplicate, employee, equal, equivalent, ersatz, eventual, exchange, executive officer, exponent, extra, fake, feather, feathers, figurehead, fill-in, final, flunky, follower, fortuitous, full color, fundamental colors, geminate, geminated, ghost, ghostwriter, hackle, half tint, halftone, happenstance, helper, hoi polloi, hue cycle, humble, imitated, imitation, in the shade, incidental, indirect, inessential, inferior, infra dig, insignificant, junior, last, less, lesser, lieutenant, lightweight, locum, locum tenens, low, low-priority, lower, lower class, lower orders, lowly, mail, makeshift, marginal, masses, mere chance, metamer, metaphor, metonymy, minor, mock, modest, monochrome, next best thing, no great shakes, nonessential, not-self, of no account, of no consequence, of no matter, of no significance, ordinary, other, paranymph, pawn, personnel, phony, pinch, pinch hitter, pleader, plumage, poor relation, primary, primary color, procurator, provisional, proxy, pure color, relief, replacement, representative, reserve, reserves, resultant, right-hand man, ringer, scrub, second, second fiddle, second in command, second rank, second string, secondary color, secondhand, servant, servile, sign, small, small-fry, small-time, solar spectrum, spare, spares, spectral color, spectrum, spectrum color, speculum, stand-in, stopgap, sub, subaltern, subject, subordinate, subsequent, subservient, subsidiary, substituent, substitute, substitution, succedaneum, superadded, superaddition, superfluous, superseder, supervenient, supplanter, supplement, supplemental, supplementary, supporting, supportive, surrogate, symbol, synecdoche, temporary, tentative, tertiary, tertiary color, third rank, third string, third stringer, token, tributary, twin, twinned, two-faced, two-level, two-ply, two-sided, two-story, twofold, ultimate, under, underling, underprivileged, understrapper, understudy, unessential, unimportant, unoriginal, utility, utility man, utility player, vicar, vicar general, vicarious, vice, vice-president, vice-regent, vicegerent, vulgar, yes-man
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