What does primer mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term primer:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. primer(noun)

    an introductory textbook

  2. fuse, fuze, fusee, fuzee, primer, priming(noun)

    any igniter that is used to initiate the burning of a propellant

  3. flat coat, ground, primer, priming, primer coat, priming coat, undercoat(noun)

    the first or preliminary coat of paint or size applied to a surface


  1. primer(Noun)

    An elementary textbook introducing a topic, or teaching basic concepts.

  2. primer(Noun)

    An elementary book for teaching children to learn the alphabet and to read, write and spell.

    Kennedy's New Latin Primer (an introductory grammar, published 2008)

  3. primer(Noun)

    A single-stranded nucleic acid molecule required for the initiation of replication of a DNA molecule.

  4. primer(Noun)

    Any substance used to start a fire.

  5. primer(Noun)

    A small charge that burns furiously when given sufficient electrical current (Explosive primer) or when struck with force (percussion caps) that ignites the main combustable substances in explosives or ammunition.

  6. primer(Noun)

    A layer of paint designed to underlay a topcoat, used to enhance the adhesion and durability of the topcoat and help in protection of the surface.

  7. primer(Noun)

    A device used to circulate gasoline into the ignition chamber of an engine.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Primer(noun)

    one who, or that which, primes

  2. Primer(noun)

    an instrument or device for priming; esp., a cap, tube, or water containing percussion powder or other compound for igniting a charge of gunpowder

  3. Primer(adj)

    first; original; primary

  4. Primer(noun)

    originally, a small prayer book for church service, containing the little office of the Virgin Mary; also, a work of elementary religious instruction

  5. Primer(noun)

    a small elementary book for teaching children to read; a reading or spelling book for a beginner

  6. Primer(noun)

    a kind of type, of which there are two species; one, called long primer, intermediate in size between bourgeois and small pica [see Long primer]; the other, called great primer, larger than pica

  7. Origin: [Originally, the book read at prime, the first canonical hour. LL. primae liber. See Prime, n., 4.]


  1. Primer

    Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, and produced by Shane Carruth and was completed on a budget of $7,000. Carruth graduated from college with a degree in mathematics and is a former engineer. Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. One reviewer said that "anybody who claims he fully understands what's going on in Primer after seeing it just once is either a savant or a liar." The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Primer

    prim′ėr, or prī′mer, n. a first book: a work of elementary religious instruction: a first reading-book: an elementary introduction to any subject: a kind of type of two species, long-primer (10 point) and great-primer (18 point). [Orig. a small prayer-book.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. primer

    A wafer, cap, tube, or other device for communicating fire to the charge of powder in a cannon. The cap or tube usually contains a friction- or percussion-powder. The friction-primer is generally used in the land service. (See Friction-primer.) For service on shipboard, a quill filled with rifle-powder, having on the top a capsule of fulminate of mercury, is generally employed. The capsule is exploded by a blow from the lock-hammer. The tape-primer, used sometimes in blasting, is formed of long, flexible strips of paper or fabric containing fulminate or other quick-burning substance. The electric primer is used to fire simultaneous discharges, both in ordnance and blasting. In firing wet gun-cotton, the small charge of dry gun-cotton used in conjunction with the detonating exploder is called a primer. In small-arms the term is specially applied, at the present time, to the percussion-caps used in reloading metallic cartridge-cases. The cap is set in a recess in the head of the shell. When the firing-pin strikes the outside end of the cap, the fulminate is exploded by being driven against a perforated cone called the anvil. This anvil is usually a part of the shell. In the Winchester primer, recently invented, the anvil is a part of the primer itself, being inserted upon the fulminate. A shoulder in the recess holds the anvil when the cap is struck.

Suggested Resources

  1. primer

    Song lyrics by primer -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by primer on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of primer in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of primer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

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