Skip to search.

Definition of tertiary


Reference
Dictionary
Encyclopedia
Thesaurus
World Factbook

 
Search Dictionary:

Houghton Mifflin

ter·ti·ar·y  audio  (tûrsh-r) KEY 

ADJECTIVE:
  1. Third in place, order, degree, or rank.
  2. Of, relating to, or designating the short flight feathers nearest the body on the rear edge of a bird's wing.
  3. Chemistry
    1. Of or relating to salts of acids containing three replaceable hydrogen atoms.
    2. Of or relating to organic compounds in which a group, such as an alcohol or amine, is bound to three nonelementary radicals.
  4. Tertiary Of or belonging to the geologic time, system of rocks, or sedimentary deposits of the first period of the Cenozoic Era, characterized by the appearance of modern flora and of apes and other large mammals. See Table at geologic time.
NOUN:
pl. ter·ti·ar·ies
  1. A tertiary feather.
  2. Tertiary The Tertiary Period or its system of deposits.
  3. Roman Catholic Church A member of a religious Third Order.

ETYMOLOGY:
Latin tertirius, from tertius, third; see trei- in Indo-European roots


Visit our partner's site
Provided by Houghton Mifflin
logoeReference -- Download this interactive reference software to your desktop computer