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Source : Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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.

            The church of Christ, in its primary institution.
                                                  --Bp. Pearson.

            These I call original, or primary, qualities of
            body.                                 --Locke.

   2. First in order, as being preparatory to something higher;
      as, primary assemblies; primary schools.

   3. First in dignity or importance; chief; principal; as,
      primary planets; a matter of primary importance.

   4. (Geol.) Earliest formed; fundamental.

   5. (Chem.) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by,
      some quality or property in the first degree; having
      undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.

   {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

   {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      hydrogen has been replaced by a basic radical; --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

   {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} (Zo["o]l.), 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.
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