|1.||third in degree, order, etc|
|2.||(of education) taking place after secondary school, such as at university, college, etc|
|3.||primary Compare secondary (of an industry) involving services as opposed to extraction or manufacture, such as transport, finance, etc|
|4.||RC Church of or relating to a Third Order|
|a. (of an organic compound) having a functional group attached to a carbon atom that is attached to three other groups|
|b. (of an amine) having three organic groups attached to a nitrogen atom|
|c. (of a salt) derived from a tribasic acid by replacement of all its acidic hydrogen atoms with metal atoms or electropositive groups|
|6.||rare ornithol Also called: tertial of, relating to, or designating any of the small flight feathers attached to the part of the humerus nearest to the body|
|—n , -tiaries|
|7.||rare ornithol Also called: tertial any of the tertiary feathers|
|8.||RC Church a member of a Third Order|
|[C16: from Latin tertiārius containing one third, from tertius third]|
|1.||of, denoting, or formed in the first period of the Cenozoic era, which lasted for 63 million years, during which mammals became dominant|
|2.||the Tertiary the Tertiary period or rock system, divided into Palaeocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene epochs or series|
tertiary ter·ti·ar·y (tûr'shē-ěr'ē)
Third in place, order, degree, or rank.
Of or relating to salts of acids containing three replaceable hydrogen atoms.
Of or relating to organic compounds in which a group is bound to three nonelementary radicals.
tertiary [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (tûr'shē-ěr'ē) Pronunciation Key |
Noun Tertiary. The first period of the Cenozoic Era, from about 65 to 2 million years ago. During this time the continents took on their present form, and the climate changed from being warmer and wetter, in the early part of the period, to being drier and cooler in the later part. Mammals replaced dinosaurs as the dominant form of terrestrial animal life, and many modern types of flowering plants, insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds appeared. The Tertiary is subdivided into the Paleogene and the Neogene, although these terms are not as widely used as are the names of the epochs that constitute them. See Chart at geologic time.