primary

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin prīmārius ("of the first”, “of the first rank”, “chief”, “principal”, “excellent"), from prīmus (“first”; whence the English adjective prime) + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary); compare the French primaire, primer, and premier.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

primary (comparative more primary, superlative most primary)

  1. The first in a group or series.
    Children attend primary school, and teenagers attend secondary school.
    • Bishop Pearson
      the church of Christ, in its primary institution
    • John Locke
      These I call original, or primary, qualities of body.
  2. Main; principal; placed ahead of others.
    Preferred stock has primary claim on dividends, ahead of common stock.
  3. (geology) Earliest formed; fundamental.
  4. (chemistry) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by, some quality or property in the first degree; having undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

primary (plural primaries)

  1. A primary election; a preliminary election to select a political candidate of a political party.
  2. The first year of grade school.
  3. A base or fundamental component; something that is irreducible.
  4. The most massive component of a gravitationally bound system.
  5. A primary school.
    • 2001, David Woods, Martyn Cribb, Effective LEAs and school improvement
      Excellence in Cities offers a further development of this approach, whereby secondary schools operate with small clusters of primaries as mini-EAZs.
  6. (ornithology) Any flight feather attached to the manus (hand) of a bird.
  7. A primary colour.
    • 2003, Julie A Jacko, Andrew Sears, The human-computer interaction handbook
      By adding and subtracting the three primaries, cyan, yellow, and magenta are produced. These are called subtractive primaries.
  8. (electronics) A directly driven inductive coil, as in a transformer or induction motor that is magnetically coupled to a secondary

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

primary (third-person singular simple present primaries, present participle primarying, simple past and past participle primaried)

  1. (US, intransitive) To take part in a primary election.
  2. (US, politics) To challenge an incumbent sitting politician for their political party's endorsement to run for re-election, through running a challenger campaign in a primary election

External links[edit]