Meaning of SECONDARY in English


I. ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē adjective

Date: 14th century


a. : 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


a. : 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


(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


a. : 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

• sec·ond·ar·i·ly ˌse-kən-ˈder-ə-lē adverb

• sec·ond·ar·i·ness ˈse-kən-ˌder-ē-nəs noun

II. noun

( plural -ar·ies )

Date: 15th century

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

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.