primary

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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English numbers (edit)
10
1 2  → 
    Cardinal: one
    Ordinal: first, proto-
    Latinate ordinal: primary
    Adverbial: once
    Multiplier: single, onefold
    Distributive: singly
    Collective: monad, onesome
    Fractional: whole
    Number of musicians: solo

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin prīmārius (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]

Latinate ordinals
Previous: n/a
Next: secondary

primary (comparative more primary, superlative most primary)

  1. first or earliest in a group or series.
    Children attend primary school, and teenagers attend secondary school.
  2. main; principal; chief; 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.
  5. (medicine) Relating to the place where a disorder or disease started to occur.
  6. (medicine) Relating to day-to-day care provided by health professionals such as nurses, general practitioners, dentists etc.

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § 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, such as a planet in relation to its satellites.
  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.
    • 2005, Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 115:
      `Good Lord, look at that swiftlet, it's got two primaries missing from its left wing!'
  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. (military) The first stage of a thermonuclear weapon, which sets off a fission explosion to help trigger a fusion reaction in the weapon's secondary stage.
  9. (aviation) A radar return from an aircraft (or other object) produced solely by the reflection of the radar beam from the aircraft's skin, without additional information from the aircraft's transponder.
  10. (medicine) Primary site of disease; original location or source of the disease.
    unknown primary
    most common primaries
  11. (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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (US, politics, transitive, intransitive) To challenge (an incumbent sitting politician) for their political party's nomination to run for re-election, through running a challenger campaign in a primary election, especially one that is more ideologically extreme.
    • 1974, Stan Steiner, The Islands: the Worlds of the Puerto Ricans, page 191:
      In the New England town where he ran a “couple of night clubs” . he was “primarying the mayor."
    • 1980, Empire State Report, volume 6-7, page 303:
      What political facts of life underpin the hopes and dreams of democratic politicians who would take on the awesome task of “primarying” a two-term incumbent governor
    • 2014, Sanford L. Jacobs, The Little Black Book of Political Wisdom:
      Each of the past few election cycles has featured at least one instance of “primarying,” a challenge to an incumbent on the grounds that he or she is not sufficiently partisan.
    • 2014, Uncle Sam, How Fox News KO'd The Republican Party:
      The ad calls for loyal Tea Party members to step forward and run against all eighty-seven of the traitors in order to primary them.
    • 2014, Robert G. Boatright, Congressional Primary Elections, page 8:
      These instances of “primarying,” according to many, make Congress more partisan and extreme.
    • 2017, Aaron S. King, Unfolding Ambition in Senate Primary Elections, page 19:
      According to Boatright, 774 instances of challengers “primarying” sitting House incumbents occurred between 1970 and 2010.
    • 2019, Lawrence Lessig, They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy:
      Democrats have made “primarying” a key technique for shifting the balance of power in Congress to the left.
    • 2020 August 7, Marc Merrill and Kathryn Murdoch, “How philanthropy could fix America’s broken politics”, in Fortune:
      In the last midterm election, every member of Congress who was defeated in a primary lost to a candidate who was more ideologically extreme. The message that sends to every other member is clear: If you work across the aisle to solve problems, prepare to be primaried and potentially defeated.
    • 2020 July 28, Steve Benen, “DeSantis' response panned as 'divorced from scientific evidence'”, in MSNBC:
      Richard Hopkins, an epidemiologist who spent 19 years at the Florida Department of Health, told the Post, in reference to DeSantis administration officials, “They keep hoping it’s going to go away by itself. I don’t know what’s going on -- whether they’re afraid that they will get primaried by someone to their right if they take appropriate public health action.”
    • 2020 August 11, Joe Traynor, “COMMUNITY VOICES: The test is coming for Republicans”, in The Bakersfield Californian:
      Trump has most Republican congressmen leery of opposing him on any issue, mainly out of fear of getting "primaried" by a Trump loyalist.
  2. (US, intransitive, transitive) To take part in a primary election.
    • 1981, Joseph I. Lieberman, The Legacy: Connecticut Politics, 1930-1980, page 171:
      Both were worried that Bailey would break some of their delegate commitments to keep them from primarying.
    • 2011, Christine O'Donnell, Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again, page 169:
      First, I'd challenge my opponent for the convention nomination. If I didn't prevail at the convention, that would be my answer. I wouldn't “primary” him—meaning, I wouldn't force a statewide primary election if he and I were the only two candidates in the field.
    • 2017 July 13, Angela Carella, “Stamford town clerk seeks nomination despite ballot probe”, in Stamford Advocate:
      “That’s the fun part - finding out who’s the unknown person who may want to primary to get one of the positions,” Kolenberg said.

Further reading[edit]