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primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, denary, duodenary, etc.

are ordinal numbers as answered in this question. However, I'm looking for a word/phrase that refers to these terms in general, as in the following sentence:

Are there any secondary or word_or_phrase equity offering from this company?

Currently I'm considering replacing word_or_phrase with higher-order, higher-tier or n-ary, with the intended meaning of "from tertiary onwards".

Any help will be much appreciated.

  • An ellipsis could be used: 'Are there any secondary, tertiary, quaternary, ... equity offerings from this company?' – Edwin Ashworth Mar 27 '14 at 22:30
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    Personally I'd go with higher order, or perhaps higher rank depending on context. – tobyink Mar 27 '14 at 23:04
  • Note that in some cases (to wit: see David's answer) you can simply say "higher". – Fattie Mar 28 '14 at 10:04
  • "Supersecondary", "better" – SAH Nov 1 '16 at 21:54
  • subsidiary {as an adjective, pronounced without the imaginary 'r' after the second 'i', which is how I often here the business term (the noun) pronounced} – Mazura Nov 2 '16 at 2:18
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When employing ordinal numbers you are explaining a relationship between items in a set. The term you use to describe those numbers will largely depend upon the items in the set.

For example: Primary care vs. Tertiary care. You would describe these levels as tiers. Hence, if there were quaternary care, etc. you would describe this as higher-tier.

If you are speaking of classes: First class, second class, etc. You would call these higher classed (and of course these would typically go in reverse order first being highest).

If you are speaking of orders: Tertiary, Quaternary, etc. You would call these higher-ordered.

And, in any case, if you wish to describe a portion of a set, you would typically define your terms: e.g. Higher-ordered thingamajigs (Quaternary and beyond).

Of course, given that order is within the base definition and etymology of ordinal, I would say high(er)-order is always superficially correct.

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    It's strange someone marked this down - this is the correct answer here. The answer depends on the category of thing. – Fattie Mar 28 '14 at 10:03
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    just forgot ! :) – Fattie Mar 28 '14 at 13:55
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    I have no idea why anyone would mark this down. I find users baffling at times. +1 – Richard Kayser Nov 2 '16 at 2:57
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I have seen N-ary used in this way in a variety of publications.

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    In my experience, n-ary is usually the generalisation of the sequence "unary, binary, ternary..." (arity) rather than "primary, secondary, tertiary...". – tobyink Mar 27 '14 at 22:59
  • In addition to the comment above, n-ary doesn't sound quite right in that sentence where I want to use the word... :( – Herr K. Mar 27 '14 at 23:29
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    Apart from what toby said: N-ary does not at all particularly suggest higher order items, it suggests "any", um, N-ary items. – Fattie Mar 28 '14 at 10:00
  • The original poster did not ask for something that suggests higher order terms, but to describe an unspecified higher order term. – Oldcat Mar 28 '14 at 17:13
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The term you want is "higher-arity" or "higher-adicity."

"Arity" and "adicity" are real words meaning exactly what you are looking for. Please see here and here.

(Note that the second article suggests "grade", "valency," and "degree" might also work.)

Related: Is there a word like cardinal or ordinal but for the “single, double, triple” series?

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I feel that tertiary, etc are of lower tier than primary, not a higher tier.

The first word to come to my mind is derivative. Orange is a derivative of red and yellow. But derivative has its own meaning in business and finance, so it may be confusing in that sentence.

Another take is based on funding round terminology. Class A, Class B, etc. If timing plays a role in which equity offerings are available, then you could use "...and further".

  • Tertiary care center ... Higher tier than a primary care center. Lower tier does not always apply. It depends upon context. – David M Mar 28 '14 at 5:29
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    I hadn't thought of that. First-degree burn vs. first-degree murder, different ends of their spectrums. – Frambot Mar 28 '14 at 5:33

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