Tertiary Definition

Of the third rank, order, formation, stage, etc.; third.
Webster's New World
Of, relating to, or designating the short flight feathers nearest the body on the rear edge of a bird's wing.
American Heritage
Characterized by or designating a carbon atom or group attached to three other carbon atoms or groups in a chain or ring.
Webster's New World
Third in order or type; involving the substitution of three atoms or radicals.
Webster's New World
Of or relating to salts of acids containing three replaceable hydrogen atoms.
American Heritage
A tertiary feather.
American Heritage Medicine
The Tertiary Period.
American Heritage
Webster's New World
A member of a Third Order.
Webster's New World
Tertiary . The first period of the Cenozoic Era, from about 65 to 2 million years ago. During this time the continents took on their present form, and the climate changed from being warmer and wetter, in the early part of the period, to being drier and cooler in the later part. Mammals replaced dinosaurs as the dominant form of terrestrial animal life, and many modern types of flowering plants, insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds appeared. The Tertiary is subdivided into the Paleogene and the Neogene, although these terms are not as widely used as are the names of the epochs that constitute them.
American Heritage Science
  • Tertiary period
the Tertiary
  • the Tertiary Period or its rocks
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Tertiary



Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Tertiary

  • the Tertiary

Origin of Tertiary

  • From the Latin tertiārius (“of the third part or rank"), from tertius (“third") + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary); compare the French tertiaire.

    From Wiktionary

  • Latin tertiārius from tertius third trei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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