primers

primer

1 [prim-er or, esp. British, prahy-mer]
noun
1.
an elementary book for teaching children to read.
2.
any book of elementary principles: a primer of phonetics.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin prīmārium, noun use of neuter of prīmārius primary

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primer

2 [prahy-mer]
noun
1.
a person or thing that primes.
2.
a cap, cylinder, etc., containing a compound that may be exploded by percussion or other means, used for firing a charge of powder.
3.
a first coat or layer of paint, size, etc., given to any surface as a base, sealer, or the like.

Origin:
1490–1500; prime (v.) + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
primer1 (ˈpraɪmə)
 
n
1.  an introductory text, such as a school textbook
2.  printing long primer See great primer
 
[C14: via Anglo-Norman from Medieval Latin primārius (liber) a first (book), from Latin prīmāriusprimary]

primer2 (ˈpraɪmə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that primes
2.  a device, such as a tube containing explosive, for detonating the main charge in a gun, mine, etc
3.  a substance, such as paint, applied to a surface as a base, sealer, etc
 
[C15: see prime (vb)]

primers (ˈprɪməz)
 
pl n
informal (NZ) the youngest class in a primary school

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

primer
late 14c., "prayer-book," also "school book" (senses not distinguished in Middle Ages, as reading was taught from prayer books), from M.L. primarius, from L. primus "first" (see prime (adj.)). The exact sense is uncertain, and the word may be from prime (n.) on the same notion
as a "Book of Hours." Meaning "small introductory book on any topic" is from 1807.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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