[syn: basal, primary]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Primary \Pri"ma*ry\, a. [L. primarius, fr. primus first: cf. F.
primaire. See Prime, a., and cf. Premier, Primero.]
1. First in order of time or development or in intention;
primitive; fundamental; original.
The church of Christ, in its primary institution.
These I call original, or primary, qualities of
2. First in order, as being preparatory to something higher;
as, primary assemblies; primary schools.
3. First in dignity or importance; chief; principal; as,
primary planets; a matter of primary importance.
4. (Geol.) Earliest formed; fundamental.
5. (Chem.) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by,
some quality or property in the first degree; having
undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.
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 & tertiary
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hydrogen has been replaced by a basic radical; --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 & tertiary amines.
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
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.
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 (Zool.), 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in which only one acid hydrogen atom has been replaced by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.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Primary \Pri"ma*ry\, n.; pl. Primaries.
1. That which stands first in order, rank, or importance; a
2. A primary meeting; a caucus.
3. (Zool.) One of the large feathers on the distal joint of a
bird's wing. See Plumage, and Illust. of Bird.
4. (Astron.) A primary planet; the brighter component of a
double star. See under Planet.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: of first rank or importance or value; direct and
immediate rather than secondary; "primary goals"; "a
primary effect"; "primary sources"; "a primary interest"
2: not derived from or reducible to something else; basic; "a
3: most important element; "the chief aim of living"; "the main
doors were of solid glass"; "the principal rivers of
America"; "the principal example"; "policemen were primary
targets"; "the master bedroom"; "a master switch" [syn:
chief(a), main(a), primary(a), principal(a),
4: of or being the essential or basic part; "an elementary need
for love and nurturing" [syn: elementary, elemental,
5: of primary importance [syn: basal, primary]
n 1: a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are
chosen [syn: primary, primary election]
2: one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer
edge of a bird's wing [syn: primary, primary feather,
3: (astronomy) a celestial body (especially a star) relative to
other objects in orbit around it
4: 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" [syn: primary coil, primary winding,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
215 Moby Thesaurus words for "primary":
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
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
PRIMARY. That which is first or principal; as primary evidence, or that
evidence which is to be admitted in the first instance, as distinguished
from secondary evidence, which is allowed only when primary evidence cannot
2. A primary obligation is one which is the principal object of the
contract; for example, the primary obligation of the seller is to deliver
the thing sold, and to transfer the title to it. It is distinguished from
the accessory or secondary obligation to pay damages for not doing so. 1
Bouv. Inst. n. 702.