Primary meaning

prī'mĕr'ē, -mə-rē
The definition of primary is something that is the most important, among the most important, something that comes early in development or that is original and not derived from something else.

An example of primary is the main reason why you choose to have a baby.

An example of primary is the first stage in a child's development.

An example of primary is a color, such as blue, that cannot be made by mixing other colors.

An example of primary is an original research study on a subject, rather than a summary of that study.

adjective
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Of, relating to, or designating the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of a bird's wing.
adjective
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Primary is defined as a special election that is used to choose candidates from among a political party for a more major election.

An example of a primary is when the Republicans hold an election to choose which member of their party will run for president.

noun
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First or highest in rank or importance; principal.
adjective
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Of, relating to, or constituting an inducting current, circuit, or coil.
adjective
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A primary coil.
noun
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The first in a group or series.

Children attend primary school, and teenagers attend secondary school.

adjective
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The first year of grade school.
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A base or fundamental component; something that is irreducible.
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The most massive component of a gravitationally bound system.
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A primary school.
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(ornithology) Any flight feather attached to the manus (hand) of a bird.
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A primary colour.
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(electronics) A directly driven inductive coil, as in a transformer or induction motor that is magnetically coupled to a secondary.
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(US, intransitive) To take part in a primary election.
verb
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(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.
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Characteristic of or existing in a rock at the time of its formation.
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Of or relating to a primary color or colors.
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Of or relating to agriculture, forestry, the industries that extract natural materials from the earth, or the products so obtained.

A primary commodity.

adjective
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Of, relating to, or derived from a primary meristem.
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A primary color.
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A primary flight feather.
noun
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An inducting current, circuit, or coil.
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First in time or order of development; primitive; original; earliest.
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From which others are derived; fundamental; elemental; basic.
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Designating colors regarded as basic, or as those from which all others may be derived.
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Of or in the first stage of a sequence; elementary.

Primary school.

adjective
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First in importance; chief; principal; main.

A primary concern.

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Firsthand; direct.

A primary source of information.

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Designating or of an inducing current, input circuit, or input coil in a transformer, induction coil, etc.
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Having as its fundamental form a base or other element that cannot be broken down.
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Designating or having to do with the initial medical care given to a patient, before referral to another doctor, a specialist, etc.
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Designating or of the large, stiff feathers on the last section, or hand, of a bird's wing.
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Something first in order, quality, importance, etc.
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In the U.S.,
  • A local meeting of voters of a given political party to nominate candidates for public office, select delegates to a convention, etc.
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Any of the primary colors.
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A primary feather.
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Relating to a primary color.
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Relating to plant tissues or growth derived from the apical meristem in the tips of roots and shoots, whose cells divide and elongate to cause the plant to grow lengthwise.
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Relating to the initial medical care given by a healthcare provider to a patient, especially in a setting of ambulatory, continuous care, and sometimes followed by referral to other medical providers.
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Main; principal; placed ahead of others.

Preferred stock has primary claim on dividends, ahead of common stock.

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(geology) Earliest formed; fundamental.
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(chemistry) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by, some quality or property in the first degree; having undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.
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A primary election; a preliminary election to select a political candidate of a political party.
noun
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Origin of primary

  • Middle English from Latin prīmārius chief from prīmus first per1 in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Borrowing from Latin prÄ«mārius ("of the first", “of the first rank", “chief", “principal", “excellent"), from prÄ«mus (“first"; whence the English adjective prime) + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary); compare the French primaire, primer, and premier.
    From Wiktionary