Difference Between Primary and Secondary (With Table)

The word primary has an etymology that dates back to late Middle English and refers to something that is not derivative but entirely original. However, the word secondary has an etymology that may be traced back to late-medieval English. Although both of these words, primary and secondary, are dynamic and widely used words.

Primary vs Secondary

The difference between Primary and Secondary is that the word primary was derived from the Latin term ‘primarius,’ which is derived from the noun Primus, which meant ‘first’ in the 18th century. However, on the contrary, the word secondary comes from the Latin word “secundarius,” which comes from the Latin word “Secundus,” which meaning “second class” or “second quality.”

“Primary” means “first” in English. Whenever and everywhere this term is written or spoken, the entire meaning of the word is transformed into something of great significance or value. It is, however, most commonly used before a word, such as primary education, primary election, primary activities, primary school, primary statistics, and so on.

“Second most significant” is the core definition of the term secondary. The most significant or primary action is followed by this activity/process. In some circumstances, though, it can also allude to insignificant things or procedures. Secondary data, secondary sources, secondary school, and a variety of other applications are common.

Comparison Table Between Primary and Secondary

Parameters of ComparisonPrimarySecondary
MeaningSomething of high importance or prime value.Second most important
EtymologyThe Latin word, ‘primarius’ which has its roots in the noun ‘Primus’, meaning ‘first’.The Latin word “secundarius” originated from ” Secundus”.
SynonymsForemost, paramount, dominant, supreme, ultimate, first, chief, ruling, predominant, key and principal.Subordinate, incidental, subservient, ancillary, non-essential, consequential, second-hand, substitute and derivative.
AntonymsSubordinate, secondary, unimportant.Primary, main, direct.
Example in SentenceMy primary goal is to crack the coming entrance examination.Researchers should always avoid data from secondary sources.

What is Primary?

The word “primary” basically implies “first.” Whenever and wherever this term is written or spoken, the entire meaning of the word is transformed into something of great importance or value. It is, nevertheless, commonly used before a word, such as primary education, primary election, primary activities, primary school, primary statistics, and so on.

Main, prime, most significant, supreme, ultimate, first, chief, ruling, foremost, paramount, dominant, number-one, central, dominating, key, and principal are some important synonyms for the word “primary.” Subordinate, subsidiary, and unimportant are some antonyms for the word “primary.”

Edward’s primary objective in life was to become a world-famous basketball player, for which he used to skip lessons since primary school to attain his primary goal.

The word primary has an etymology that dates back to late Middle English and refers to something that is not derivative but rather fully original. This was derived from the Latin term ‘primarius,’ which has its origins in the noun Primus, which meant ‘first’ in the 18th century.

What is Secondary?

“Second most significant” is the core definition of the word secondary. This activity/process comes after the primary or most important activity. However, in other circumstances, it can also refer to insignificant objects or processes. It’s commonly used for secondary data, secondary sources, secondary school, and a variety of other things.

Subordinate, incidental, concomitant, unimportant, less important, non-essential, subservient, ancillary, lower-level, non-primary, consequential, second-hand, substitute, and derivative are some of the most common synonyms for the word ‘secondary.’

Primary, main, direct, and central are some antonyms of the word ‘secondary.’ In a sentence, the secondary can be better understood as Michael and his group of researchers were disqualified for preparing the study using secondary sources that were based on secondary data.

The etymology of the word secondary can be traced back to late-medieval English. It was derived from the Latin term “secundarius,” which was derived from the Latin word “Secundus,” which meant “second class or quality.”

Main Differences Between Primary and Secondary

  1. Basically the word, “primary” means “first”. Whenever and wherever this word is written or used converts the meaning of the whole word something of high importance or prime value. However, it is generally used before a word, like primary education, primary election, primary activities, primary school, primary data, etc. On the other hand, The basic meaning of the word secondary is the “second most important”. This activity/process follows the most important or primary activity. However, in some cases, it also refers to certain things or processes which do not possess any importance at all. It is generally used as secondary data, secondary sources, secondary school and many more.
  2. Some important synonyms of the word ‘primary’ are main, foremost, paramount, dominant, number-one, central, prime, most important, supreme, ultimate, first, chief, ruling, predominant, key and principal. On the other hand, some important and mostly used synonyms of the word ‘secondary’ are subordinate, incidental, subservient, ancillary, lower-level, non-primary, concomitant, unimportant, less important, non-essential, consequential, second-hand, substitute and derivative.
  3. Some antonyms of the word ‘primary’ are subordinate, secondary, unimportant. On the other hand, some antonyms of the word ‘secondary’ are primary, main, direct, central.
  4. Primary can be better understood in a sentence as Edward’s primary goal in his life was to become a world-famous basketball player, for which he used to bunk his classes since primary school to achieve his prime goal. On the other hand, the secondary can be better understood in a sentence as Michael with the group of researchers were disqualified as they prepared the project taking help from secondary sources, which was based on secondary data.
  5. The etymology of the word primary can be traced back to English of late middle in the meaning of something that is not derivative but rather purely original. This was further originated from a Latin word, ‘primarius’, which has its roots in the noun used in the 18th century, Primus meaning ‘first’. On the other hand, the etymology of the word secondary can be traced back to the English used in the late middle. It was originated from a Latin word, “secundarius”, which was further originated from ” Secundus”, which means something belonging to the second class or quality.

Conclusion

Number-one, central, prime, most significant, main, foremost, supreme, ultimate, paramount, dominant, first, chief, ruling, predominant, key, and principal are some of the most notable synonyms for the term “primary.”

Unimportant, subordinate, subsidiary are antonyms of the word ‘primary.’ Edward’s primary aim in life was to become a world-famous basketball player, which he achieved by skipping lessons since primary school.

Whereas, Lower-level, non-primary, concomitant, unimportant, less important, subordinate, incidental, subservient, ancillary, non-essential, consequential, second-hand, substitute, and derivative are some important and frequently used synonyms for the word ‘secondary.’

Direct, primary, central are some antonyms for the word ‘secondary.’ Michael and his team of researchers were rejected because they prepared the project using secondary sources that were based on secondary data. 

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2001-17627-020
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=lZc9AAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA205&dq=primary+and+secondary+etymology&ots=pTVTIcfzEb&sig=arJ67vzXhnOUXi3cKcpBV-txRas
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