In the geologic time scale, The period lasting from 65 to 1.8 million years ago. However, it is now often divided into the neogene and the paleogene. Named for the European rocks of that age, which are 3 stripes of white, red and white. Compare with Quarternary.

Ter"ti*a*ry (?), a. .


Being of the third formation, order, or rank; third; as, a tertiary use of a word.



2. Chem.

Possessing some quality in the third degree; having been subjected to the substitution of three atoms or radicals; as, a tertiary alcohol, amine, or salt. Cf. Primary, and Secondary.

<-- specifically, an organic compound in which the carbon atom attached to the eponymic functional group has three carbon atoms attached to it; as, tertiary butyl alcohol, (CH3)3C.OH. -->


3. Geol.

Later than, or subsequent to, the Secondary.


4. Zool.

Growing on the innermost joint of a bird's wing; tertial; -- said of quills.

Tertiary age. Geol. See under Age, 8. -- Tertiary color, a color produced by the mixture of two secondaries. "The so-called tertiary colors are citrine, russet, and olive." Fairholt. -- Tertiary period. Geol. (a) The first period of the age of mammals, or of the Cenozoic era. (b) The rock formation of that period; -- called also Tertiary formation. See the Chart of Geology. -- Tertiary syphilis Med., the third and last stage of syphilis, in which it invades the bones and internal organs.


© Webster 1913.

Ter"ti*a*ry, n.; pl. Tertiaries ().

1. R. C. Ch.

A member of the Third Order in any monastic system; as, the Franciscan tertiaries; the Dominican tertiaries; the Carmelite tertiaries. See Third Order, under Third.

Addis & Arnold.


2. Geol.

The Tertiary era, period, or formation.


3. Zool.

One of the quill feathers which are borne upon the basal joint of the wing of a bird. See Illust. of Bird.


© Webster 1913.

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