I'm not sure if "sequential" is the right word, but what is the system for creating a sequence of numbers like this:

  1. primary (as in 1st in choice or importance)
  2. secondary (as in 2nd in choice or importance)
  3. tertiary (as in 3rd in choice or importance)
  4. ???

What would be the following words after "tertiary" if there are any?


2 Answers 2

  • quaternary (adjective): fourth in order or rank; belonging to the fourth order.
  • quinary (adjective): of or relating to the number five
  • senary (adjective, rare): relating to or based on the number six
  • septenary (adjective)
  • octonary (adjective, rare)
  • nonary (adjective, rare)
  • denary (adjective)

(source: New Oxford American Dictionary)

  • 4
    These are derived from the Latin words for "first", "second" and so on: primus, secundus, tertius,...
    – user1579
    Mar 8, 2011 at 14:29

Ordinal numbers describes these sorts of sequential forms in general.

This refers to the common first, second, third… as well as to the latinate primary, secondary, tertiary, though, so may not be quite specific enough for you.

  • Thanks for the "ordinal numbers". Updated the question ,)
    – Eimantas
    Mar 8, 2011 at 14:38

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