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5 definitions found
 for primary
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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 its primary institution.
                                                    --Bp. Pearson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              These I call original, or primary, qualities of
              body.                                 --Locke.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. First in order, as being preparatory to something higher;
        as, primary assemblies; primary schools.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. First in dignity or importance; chief; principal; as,
        primary planets; a matter of primary importance.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Geol.) Earliest formed; fundamental.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. (Chem.) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by,
        some quality or property in the first degree; having
        undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Primary alcohol (Organic Chem.), any alcohol which possess
        the group CH2.OH, and can be oxidized so as to form a
        corresponding aldehyde and acid having the same number of
        carbon atoms; -- distinguished from secondary & tertiary
        alcohols.
  
     Primary amine (Chem.), an amine containing the amido group,
        or a derivative of ammonia in which only one atom of
        hydrogen has been replaced by a basic radical; --
        distinguished from secondary & tertiary amines.
  
     Primary amputation (Surg.), an amputation for injury
        performed as soon as the shock due to the injury has
        passed away, and before symptoms of inflammation
        supervene.
  
     Primary axis (Bot.), the main stalk which bears a whole
        cluster of flowers.
  
     Primary colors. See under Color.
  
     Primary meeting, a meeting of citizens at which the first
        steps are taken towards the nomination of candidates, etc.
        See Caucus.
  
     Primary pinna (Bot.), one of those portions of a compound
        leaf or frond which branch off directly from the main
        rhachis or stem, whether simple or compounded.
  
     Primary planets. (Astron.) See the Note under Planet.
  
     Primary qualities of bodies, such are essential to and
        inseparable from them.
  
     Primary quills (Zool.), the largest feathers of the wing of
        a bird; primaries.
  
     Primary rocks (Geol.), a term early used for rocks supposed
        to have been first formed, being crystalline and
        containing no organic remains, as granite, gneiss, etc.;
        -- called also primitive rocks. The terms Secondary,
        Tertiary, and Quaternary rocks have also been used in like
        manner, but of these the last two only are now in use.
  
     Primary salt (Chem.), a salt derived from a polybasic acid
        in which only one acid hydrogen atom has been replaced by
        a base or basic radical.
  
     Primary syphilis (Med.), the initial stage of syphilis,
        including the period from the development of the original
        lesion or chancre to the first manifestation of symptoms
        indicative of general constitutional infection.
  
     Primary union (Surg.), union without suppuration; union by
        the first intention.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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. (Zool.) One of the large feathers on the distal joint of a
        bird's wing. See Plumage, and Illust. of Bird.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Astron.) A primary planet; the brighter component of a
        double star. See under Planet.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  primary
      adj 1: of first rank or importance or value; direct and
             immediate rather than secondary; "primary goals"; "a
             primary effect"; "primary sources"; "a primary interest"
             [ant: secondary]
      2: not derived from or reducible to something else; basic; "a
         primary instinct"
      3: most important element; "the chief aim of living"; "the main
         doors were of solid glass"; "the principal rivers of
         America"; "the principal example"; "policemen were primary
         targets"; "the master bedroom"; "a master switch" [syn:
         chief(a), main(a), primary(a), principal(a),
         master(a)]
      4: of or being the essential or basic part; "an elementary need
         for love and nurturing" [syn: elementary, elemental,
         primary]
      5: of primary importance [syn: basal, primary]
      n 1: a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are
           chosen [syn: primary, primary election]
      2: one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer
         edge of a bird's wing [syn: primary, primary feather,
         primary quill]
      3: (astronomy) a celestial body (especially a star) relative to
         other objects in orbit around it
      4: coil forming the part of an electrical circuit such that
         changing current in it induces a current in a neighboring
         circuit; "current through the primary coil induces current in
         the secondary coil" [syn: primary coil, primary winding,
         primary]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  215 Moby Thesaurus words for "primary":
     Maxwell triangle, Munsell scale, ab ovo, abecedarian, aboriginal,
     all-absorbing, antenatal, anterior, arch, austere, autochthonous,
     banner, bare, basal, basic, basilar, beginning, bottom, budding,
     by-election, capital, cardinal, caucus, central, champion, chaste,
     chief, chromatic circle, chromatic spectrum, chromaticity diagram,
     closed primary, color circle, color cycle, color index,
     color mixture curve, color solid, color spectrum, color system,
     color triangle, complementary color, congressional election,
     constituent, constitutive, contested election, controlling,
     creative, crowning, crucial, demitint, direct, direct primary,
     dominant, earliest, election, elemental, elementary, embryonic,
     essential, fetal, first, firsthand, focal, fore, forehand,
     foremost, formative, forward, foundational, front, frontal,
     full color, fundamental, fundamental colors, general election,
     generative, genetic, germinal, gestatory, great, gut, half tint,
     halftone, head, headmost, hegemonic, highest, homely, homespun,
     homogeneous, hue cycle, immediate, in embryo, in its infancy,
     in ovo, in the bud, inaugural, inceptive, inchoate, inchoative,
     incipient, incunabular, indivisible, infant, infantile, initial,
     initiative, initiatory, introductory, inventive, irreducible,
     leading, magisterial, maiden, main, mandatory primary, master,
     material, mere, metamer, monochrome, monolithic, nascent, natal,
     nonpartisan primary, of a piece, of the essence, open primary,
     optional primary, original, overriding, overruling, paramount,
     partisan election, parturient, pioneer, plain, postnatal,
     predominant, preeminent, preference primary, pregnant, premier,
     prenatal, preponderant, presidential election,
     presidential preference primary, presidential primary, prevailing,
     primal, primary color, primary election, prime, primeval,
     primitive, primogenial, primordial, principal, pristine,
     procreative, protogenic, prototypal, pure, pure and simple,
     pure color, radical, ranking, referendum, rudimental, rudimentary,
     ruling, runoff, runoff election, runoff primary, secondary,
     secondary color, seminal, severe, simon-pure, simple, single,
     solar spectrum, sovereign, spare, spectral color, spectrum,
     spectrum color, star, stark, stellar, substantial, substantive,
     supereminent, supreme, tertiary, tertiary color, topflight,
     topmost, ultimate, unadorned, unadulterated, uncluttered, uncopied,
     underived, underlying, undifferenced, undifferentiated,
     unduplicated, unexampled, uniform, unimitated, unmixed,
     unprecedented, unreproduced, uppermost, ur
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  PRIMARY. That which is first or principal; as primary evidence, or that 
  evidence which is to be admitted in the first instance, as distinguished 
  from secondary evidence, which is allowed only when primary evidence cannot 
  be had. 
       2. A primary obligation is one which is the principal object of the 
  contract; for example, the primary obligation of the seller is to deliver 
  the thing sold, and to transfer the title to it. It is distinguished from 
  the accessory or secondary obligation to pay damages for not doing so. 1 
  Bouv. Inst. n. 702. 
  
  

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