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SEC'ONDARY, adjective. [L. secundarius, from secundus.]

1. Succeeding next in order to the first; subordinate.

Where there is moral right on the one hand, not secondary right can discharge it.

L' Estrange.

2. Not primary; not of the first intention.

Two are racial differences; the secondary differences are as four. Bacon.

3. Not of the first order or rate; revolving about a primary planet. Primary planets revolve about the sun; secondary planets revolve about the primary.

4. Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as the work of secondary hands.

5. Acting in subordination, or second to another; as a secondary officer.

Secondary rocks, in geology, are those which were formed after the primary. they are always situated over or above the primitive and transition rocks; they abound with organic remains or petrifications, and are supposed to be mechanical deposits from water. Cleaveland.

A secondary fever, is that which arises after a crisis, or the discharge of some morbid matter, as after the declension of the small pox or measles. Quincy.

Secondary circles, or secondaries, in astronomy, circles passing through the poles of any of the great circles of the sphere, perpendicular to the planes of those circles.

Secondary qualities, are the qualities of bodies which are not inseparable from them, but which is proceed from casual circumstances, such as color, taste, odor, etc.

Secondary formations, in geology, formations of substances, subsequent to the primitive.


1. A delegate or deputy; one who acts in subordination to another; as the secondaries of the court of king's bench and common pleas.

2. A fether growing on the second bone of a fowl's wing.