I'm just wondering, as I've used primacy quite a lot but have never thought of other words like it.

  • tertiarity is rare and may not be in a dictionary, but a google search reveals it exists.
    – DyingIsFun
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:05
  • 2
    Not my favourite word, but the full OED has an entry for secondariness - The quality of being secondary or subordinate. Jun 11, 2016 at 15:12
  • They often appear as nouns when the actual noun has been dropped to avoid tedious repetition. The secondary is a term from American football, so it is known by everyone and that probably helps with this sort of extension. Also, it would be widely known as a term for a bomb set to explode after the primary has gone off (thanks to The Hurt Locker).
    – Phil Sweet
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:03
  • sometimes "runner-up" can be useful
    – Fattie
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:47

1 Answer 1

  1. Primary. Probably a better choice than primacy, which is a noun and usually carries the meaning of first in importance.
  2. Secondary
  3. Tertiary
  4. Quaternary From the website fossil-facts-and-finds.com:

    In the early 1800’s a system for naming geologic time periods was devised using four periods of geologic time.... Early geologists chose the name Quaternary for the fourth period in this system. We no longer use this system of dividing geologic time, but the name, Quaternary, is still commonly used for the most recent period in geologic time.

  5. Quinary. From The Mystery of Numbers by A Schimmel:

    The tendency to group things in quinary arrangements is omnipresent. Among such groups, the 5 senses certainly have to do with 5 as the number of natural man,....

  6. Senary. From German music theory in the early 17th century by B V Rivera:

    He extols the senary by pointing out how nature and art manifest countless states of perfection through "sixness."

  7. Septenary. From Invitation to Italian Poetry by L Rebay:

    To be sure, Italian poets have made frequent use of other regular meters, particularly the septenary (seven-syllable line),....

  8. Octonary. From History of binary and other nondecimal numeration by A Glaser:

    He came to the conclusion that the "octonary" (base 8) scale would be the best possible one.

  9. Nonary. From Mysteries and Secrets of Numerology by L Fanthorpe and P Fanthorpe:

    For example, because “9” has certain peculiarities, what is called a nonary system, or base-9, may be employed for some numerological processes.

  10. Denary. From The great encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800 by D E Mungello:

    Leibniz had developed a binary system of arithmetic, which, unlike the commonly used denary system of today that relies upon ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), generated all arithmetical calculations using only two numbers (0 and 1).

  11. Undenary. From the website Undenary Chess by M A Rouse:

    Undenary Chess is a large chess variant for two persons.... The board is made up of 121 [i.e., 11x11] alternating light and dark squares, with a light-colored square at each corner and the very center of the board.

  12. Duodenary. From The philosophy of Leibniz: metaphysics and language by B Mates:

    If we understand by a ternary, a senary, and a duodenary, numbers divisible by 3, 6, and 12, respectively, then we can demonstrate this proposition: every duodenary is a senary....

 ​2​0. Vicenary or vigenary. From the OED quoting The Penny Cyclopedia II (1834)

In France, the scale from 60 to 100 is strictly vicenary (by twenties)

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