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Adjective, Noun


Noun primary has 4 senses

Adjective primary has 5 senses


primarya. [L. primarius, fr. primus first: cf. F. primaire. See Prime, a., and cf. Premier, Primero.].
  •  First in order of time or development or in intention; primitive; fundamental; original.  [1913 Webster]
    "The church of Christ, in its primary institution."  [1913 Webster]
    "These I call original, or primary, qualities of body."  [1913 Webster]
  •  First in order, as being preparatory to something higher; as, primary assemblies; primary schools.  [1913 Webster]
  •  First in dignity or importance; chief; principal; as, primary planets; a matter of primary importance.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Earliest formed; fundamental.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by, some quality or property in the first degree; having undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.  [1913 Webster]
Primary alcohol (Organic Chem.), any alcohol which possess the group CH2.OH, and can be oxidized so as to form a corresponding aldehyde and acid having the same number of carbon atoms; -- distinguished from secondary . -- Primary amine (Chem.), an amine containing the amido group, or a derivative of ammonia in which only one atom of hydrogen has been replaced by a basic radical; -- distinguished from secondary . -- Primary amputation (Surg.), an amputation for injury performed as soon as the shock due to the injury has passed away, and before symptoms of inflammation supervene. -- Primary axis (Bot.), the main stalk which bears a whole cluster of flowers. -- Primary colors. See under Color. -- Primary meeting, a meeting of citizens at which the first steps are taken towards the nomination of candidates, etc. See Caucus. -- Primary pinna (Bot.), one of those portions of a compound leaf or frond which branch off directly from the main rhachis or stem, whether simple or compounded. -- Primary planets. (Astron.) See the Note under Planet. -- Primary qualities of bodies, such are essential to and inseparable from them. -- Primary quills (Zoöl.), the largest feathers of the wing of a bird; primaries. -- Primary rocks (Geol.), a term early used for rocks supposed to have been first formed, being crystalline and containing no organic remains, as granite, gneiss, etc.; -- called also primitive rocks. The terms Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary rocks have also been used in like manner, but of these the last two only are now in use. -- Primary salt (Chem.), a salt derived from a polybasic acid in which only one acid hydrogen atom has been replaced by a base or basic radical. -- Primary syphilis (Med.), the initial stage of syphilis, including the period from the development of the original lesion or chancre to the first manifestation of symptoms indicative of general constitutional infection. -- Primary union (Surg.), union without suppuration; union by the first intention.
  •  That which stands first in order, rank, or importance; a chief matter.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A primary meeting; a caucus.  [1913 Webster]
  •  One of the large feathers on the distal joint of a bird's wing. See Plumage, and Illust. of Bird.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A primary planet; the brighter component of a double star. See under Planet.  [1913 Webster]


primary, adj. & n.
1 a of the first importance; chief (that is our primary concern). b fundamental, basic.
2 earliest, original; first in a series.
3 of the first rank in a series; not derived (the primary meaning of a word).
4 designating any of the colours red, green, and blue, or for pigments red, blue, and yellow, from which all other colours can be obtained by mixing.
5 (of a battery or cell) generating electricity by irreversible chemical reaction.
6 (of education) for young children, esp. below the age of 11.
7 (Primary) Geol. of the lowest series of strata.
8 Biol. belonging to the first stage of development.
9 (of an industry or source of production) concerned with obtaining or using raw materials.
10 Gram. (of a tense in Latin and Greek) present, future, perfect, or future perfect (cf. HISTORIC).
--n. (pl. -ies)
1 a thing that is primary.
2 (in full primary election) (in the US) a preliminary election to appoint delegates to a party conference or to select the candidates for a principal (esp. presidential) election.
3 = primary planet.
4 (Primary) Geol. the Primary period.
5 = primary feather.
6 = primary coil.

primary coil a coil to which current is supplied in a transformer. primary feather a large flight-feather of a bird's wing. primary planet a planet that directly orbits the sun (cf. secondary planet). primary school a school where young children are taught, esp. below the age of 11.
primarily adv.
ME f. L primarius f. primus first



Maxwell triangle, Munsell scale, ab ovo, abecedarian, aboriginal, all-absorbing, antenatal, anterior, arch, austere, autochthonous, banner, bare, basal, basic, basilar, beginning, bottom, budding, by-election, capital, cardinal, caucus, central, champion, chaste, chief, chromatic circle, chromatic spectrum, chromaticity diagram, closed primary, color circle, color cycle, color index, color mixture curve, color solid, color spectrum, color system, color triangle, complementary color, congressional election, constituent, constitutive, contested election, controlling, creative, crowning, crucial, demitint, direct, direct primary, dominant, earliest, election, elemental, elementary, embryonic, essential, fetal, first, firsthand, focal, fore, forehand, foremost, formative, forward, foundational, front, frontal, full color, fundamental, fundamental colors, general election, generative, genetic, germinal, gestatory, great, gut, half tint, halftone, head, headmost, hegemonic, highest, homely, homespun, homogeneous, hue cycle, immediate, in embryo, in its infancy, in ovo, in the bud, inaugural, inceptive, inchoate, inchoative, incipient, incunabular, indivisible, infant, infantile, initial, initiative, initiatory, introductory, inventive, irreducible, leading, magisterial, maiden, main, mandatory primary, master, material, mere, metamer, monochrome, monolithic, nascent, natal, nonpartisan primary, of a piece, of the essence, open primary, optional primary, original, overriding, overruling, paramount, partisan election, parturient, pioneer, plain, postnatal, predominant, preeminent, preference primary, pregnant, premier, prenatal, preponderant, presidential election, presidential preference primary, presidential primary, prevailing, primal, primary color, primary election, prime, primeval, primitive, primogenial, primordial, principal, pristine, procreative, protogenic, prototypal, pure, pure and simple, pure color, radical, ranking, referendum, rudimental, rudimentary, ruling, runoff, runoff election, runoff primary, secondary, secondary color, seminal, severe, simon-pure, simple, single, solar spectrum, sovereign, spare, spectral color, spectrum, spectrum color, star, stark, stellar, substantial, substantive, supereminent, supreme, tertiary, tertiary color, topflight, topmost, ultimate, unadorned, unadulterated, uncluttered, uncopied, underived, underlying, undifferenced, undifferentiated, unduplicated, unexampled, uniform, unimitated, unmixed, unprecedented, unreproduced, uppermost, ur




N importance, consequence, moment, prominence, consideration, mark, materialness, import, significance, concern, emphasis, interest, greatness, superiority, notability, weight, value, usefulness, gravity, seriousness, solemnity, no joke, no laughing matter, pressure, urgency, stress, matter of life and death, memorabilia, notabilia, great doings, red-letter day, great thing, great point, main chance, the be all and the end all, cardinal point, substance, gist, sum and substance, gravamen, head and front, important part, principal part, prominent part, essential part, half the battle, sine qua non, breath of one's nostrils, cream, salt, core, kernel, heart, nucleus, keynote, keystone, corner stone, trump card, salient points, top sawyer, first fiddle, prima donna, chief, triton among the minnows, 'it', important, of importance, momentous, material, to the point, not to be overlooked, not to be despised, not to be sneezed at, egregious, weighty, of note, notable, prominent, salient, signal, memorable, remarkable, unforgettable, worthy of remark, worthy of notice, never to be forgotten, stirring, eventful, grave, serious, earnest, noble, grand, solemn, impressive, commanding, imposing, urgent, pressing, critical, instant, paramount, essential, vital, all-absorbing, radical, cardinal, chief, main, prime, primary, principal, leading, capital, foremost, overruling, of vital importance in the front rank, first-rate, superior, considerable, marked, rare, significant, telling, trenchant, emphatic, pregnant, tanti, materially, in the main, above all, kat' exochin, par excellence, to crown all, to beat all, expende Hannibalem!.


N council, committee, subcommittee, comitia, court, chamber, cabinet, board, bench, staff, senate, senatus, parliament, chamber of deputies, directory, reichsrath, rigsdag, cortes, storthing, witenagemote, junta, divan, musnud, sanhedrim, classis, Amphictyonic council, duma, house of representatives, legislative assembly, legislative council, riksdag, volksraad, witan, caput, consistory, chapter, syndicate, court of appeal, board of control, board of works, vestry, county council, local board, audience chamber, council chamber, state chamber, cabinet council, privy council, cockpit, convocation, synod, congress, convention, diet, states-general, assembly, caucus, conclave, clique, conventicle, meeting, sitting, seance, conference, convention, exhibition, session, palaver, pourparler, durbar, house, quorum, council fire, powwow, primary, meeting, assemblage, member, senator, member of parliament, M, P, councilor, representative of the people, assemblyman, congressman, councilman, councilwoman, alderman, freeholder, senatorial, curule, congressional, parliamentary, legislative, law-making, regulatory, deliberative.


N cause, origin, source, principle, element, occasioner, prime mover, primum mobile, vera causa, author, mainspring, agent, leaven, groundwork, foundation, spring, fountain, well, font, fountainhead, spring head, wellhead, fons et origo, genesis, descent, remote cause, influence, pivot, hinge, turning point, lever, crux, fulcrum, key, proximate cause, causa causans, straw that breaks the camel's back, ground, reason, reason why, why and wherefore, rationale, occasion, derivation, final cause, les dessous des cartes, undercurrents, rudiment, egg, germ, embryo, bud, root, radix radical, etymon, nucleus, seed, stem, stock, stirps, trunk, tap-root, gemmule, radicle, semen, sperm, nest, cradle, nursery, womb, nidus, birthplace, hotbed, causality, causation, origination, production, caused, causal, original, primary, primitive, primordial, aboriginal, protogenal, radical, embryonic, embryotic, in embryo, in ovo, seminal, germinal, at the bottom of, connate, having a common origin, because, behind the scenes, causa latet vis est notissima, felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.

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