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.
Phrases and idioms:
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.
Etymology: ME f. L primarius f. primus first

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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. [1913 Webster] The church of Christ, in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • primary — pri·ma·ry 1 / prī ˌmer ē, mə rē/ adj 1: of first rank, value, or importance 2: belonging to the first group or order in successive divisions, combinations, or ramifications pri·mar·i·ly /prī mer ə lē/ adv primary 2 n pl …   Law dictionary

  • primary — primary, primal, primordial, primitive, pristine, primeval, prime mean first in some respect (as order, character, or importance). Something primary comes first in the order of development or of progression. Sometimes the term means little more… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Primary — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Primary» Sencillo de The Cure del álbum Faith Publicación 17 de marzo de 1981 (Reino Unido) Formato …   Wikipedia Español

  • primary — pri‧ma‧ry [ˈpraɪmri ǁ meri] adjective 1. main or most important: • Its primary business is developing and marketing new software. • The primary problem for the airlines is the recession. • It uses coal as its primary source of fuel. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • primary — [prī′mer΄ē, prī′mə rē] adj. [ME prymary < L primarius < primus, first: see PRIME] 1. first in time or order of development; primitive; original; earliest 2. from which others are derived; fundamental; elemental; basic 3. designating colors… …   English World dictionary

  • Primary — Single par The Cure extrait de l’album Faith Face A Primary Face B Descent Sortie 17 mars 1981 Enregistrement …   Wikipédia en Français

  • primary — late 15c., of the first order, from L. primarius of the first rank, chief, principal, excellent, from primus first (see PRIME (Cf. prime) (adj.) ). Primary color is first recorded 1610s; primary school is 1802, from Fr. école primaire. The Paris… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Primary — Pri ma*ry, n.; pl. {Primaries}. 1. That which stands first in order, rank, or importance; a chief matter. [1913 Webster] 2. A primary meeting; a caucus. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) One of the large feathers on the distal joint of a bird s wing.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • primary — / prime [adj1] best, principal capital, cardinal, chief, crackerjack*, dominant, excellent, fab*, first, first class*, greatest, heavy, highest, hot*, leading, main, number one*, paramount, primo*, state of the art*, stellar, top, top of the… …   New thesaurus

  • primary — primary/secondary qualities …   Philosophy dictionary

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