Main definitions of primer in English

: primer1primer2

primer1

noun

  • 1[mass noun] A substance used as a preparatory coat on wood, metal, or canvas, especially to prevent the absorption of subsequent layers of paint or the development of rust:

    ‘apply three coats of primer’
    [count noun] ‘new plaster should be treated with a primer’
    • ‘Research shows that one coat of tinted primer and one coat of paint will give you a better paint job than two coats of paint.’
    • ‘This special primer for wall covering is available at any paint, wallpaper or home improvement store.’
    • ‘Four coats of primer, two layers of drywall mud, three coats of paint, 108 hours of work, and some other miscellaneous steps later, the bathroom is complete.’
    • ‘Sand the areas until they are smooth and coat them with interior primer and let it dry completely.’
    • ‘While much of the Scylla still displays the remnants of the original Royal Navy grey paintwork, with patches of rust showing through, the railings have what looks like a fresh coat of silver primer.’
    • ‘Bare spackling on any wall repairs should always be covered with primer before paint or wall paper.’
    • ‘Taking a break from applying the paint to the shingles - a very smelly and unpleasant job - Graham has been sanding down the woodwork and applying a coat of primer.’
    • ‘Aluminum siding, however, has a baked enamel finish so it can be sanded or scuffed up, then primed with a special etching primer developed just for this purpose.’
    • ‘As a general rule, the sequence is primer and undercoat on the woodwork, followed by two coats of emulsion on the walls, then a careful top coat around the woodwork.’
    • ‘First, encapsulate the peeling paint by applying a couple of coats of thick primer.’
    • ‘The board walls have a layer of primer and a top layer of blue paint on which the stenciled designs were painted in green, red, black, and ocher, and then a layer of varnish was applied.’
    • ‘Fungicides may be added to paint, primer or wallpaper paste to slow fungus growth on treated areas.’
    • ‘Paint each plate rail with primer and two coats of white enamel.’
    • ‘Block-out primers prevent the old paint's color from bleeding through if the previous color is darker or brighter than the new.’
    • ‘The zinc phosphate-coated bodyshell then gets a coat of primer which provides more corrosion protection, along with a good base for the colour coat itself.’
    • ‘The primer and top coat should be compatible and preferably from the same manufacturer.’
    • ‘Use caulk to seal all the joints between the bathtub and the covered frame, and coat the wallboard or plywood with moisture resistant primer to seal it.’
    • ‘An oil-base primer or stain-blocking latex primer should be applied to the bare wood.’
    • ‘Oil based primer works best because the paint sticks to it.’
    • ‘Coated with layers of lacquer, primer, and polychrome, the portrait shows its age in pigment loss and cracks along the face and figure.’
    1. 1.1 A cosmetic applied to the face before another product, intended to improve the coverage and lasting effect of the second product:
      ‘it's best to apply primer around the eye to help the make-up blend properly’
      • ‘I'm not a fan of lip primers, but this one was amazing and a lot more smoothing and lasting than most out there.’
      • ‘I have never needed primer: nothing shifts on my eyelids.’
      • ‘Touching your face can wreak havoc on your makeup, even if you wear a primer.’
      • ‘Eyeshadow primer is a must for me - I don’t put color on my lids without putting on some primer first.’
      • ‘Skin Base can be used as a primer, concealer or foundation and is available in 18 shades.’
      • ‘If you have not tried foundation primer, you will find that it helps give you that completed look that you may have been striving for.’
      • ‘Primer is one of those beauty secrets that can make a big difference in the look and wear of your makeup.’
  • 2A cap or cylinder containing a compound which responds to friction or an electrical impulse and ignites the charge in a cartridge or explosive:

    ‘the nitro-cellulose is ignited by the spark that comes from the primer’
    • ‘When a firing pin drops on a primer igniting the powder charge, the cartridge and cylinder move slightly forward.’
    • ‘The case is designed for rifle primers, and small rifle primers are used even when loading for handguns.’
    • ‘Lead is a key component in primers as well as bullets, and is responsible for holding together other chemicals that create the controlled explosion of the primer.’
    • ‘The honest concern is about airborne lead ejected by the primer and bullet when a cartridge is fired.’
    • ‘When ignited by the primer, the igniter sends hot flaming gases around the charge to ignite the propellant.’
  • 3A small pump for pumping fuel to prime an internal combustion engine, especially in an aircraft:

    ‘no more than four pumps of the primer usually suffice’
    • ‘The engine primer needs to be used only if the engine is ‘cold-soaked’ (at least 5 hours since it was last run).’
    • ‘While cranking, keep your hand on the primer so you can give it a quick shot as the cylinders fire.’
  • 4Biochemistry
    A molecule that serves as a starting material for a polymerization process:

    ‘the duplex RNA primer cannot initiate DNA replication’
    • ‘The additional nucleotide used on both primers was adenine.’
    • ‘Sampling occurs when the extract is pipetted into the PCR mix and again when the primers and polymerase bind the template DNA in the PCR.’
    • ‘The primase utilizes the DNA strands as templates and synthesizes a short stretch of RNA generating a primer for DNA polymerase.’
    • ‘The attached glucose is believed to serve as the primer required by glycogen synthase.’
    • ‘It is also possible that the first-group enzymes play important roles in the de novo synthesis of glucan primers and the initiation of starch granules in the endosperm.’

Pronunciation:

primer

/ˈprʌɪmə/

Main definitions of primer in English

: primer1primer2

primer2

noun

  • An elementary textbook that serves as an introduction to a subject of study or is used for teaching children to read:

    ‘a first-year philosophy primer’
    • ‘For one thing, the division between empiricism and rationalism is not as neat as many philosophy primers would have you believe.’
    • ‘Leda Cosmides and John Tooby have produced an excellent primer on the subject so we will use that as a point of reference throughout this post.’
    • ‘Children used to learn to read from primers that showed pictures of things with their names underneath, to teach them what the written signifier meant.’
    • ‘For mural lovers, the book is a primer, rather a guide.’
    • ‘For the uninitiated, the book is a good primer for those readers seeking an introduction to the work of this towering American intellectual.’
    • ‘His strategy ended up paying huge dividends for StockMaster and can serve as a useful primer on capital-raising fundamentals for any company.’
    • ‘Undeterred, Heavey flew to Senegal, reading an oil primer en route to learn the lingo.’
    • ‘It's no substitute for a proper textbook on the subject, but it's a good primer.’
    • ‘I've been for the last couple of years, looking at children's books, looking at primers that kids read in first grade and second grade, over this century.’
    • ‘Regarding the bonus content, we are treated to a full length, scene-specific commentary by director Macer that is a textbook primer for first time filmmakers.’
    • ‘Heavy metal is far too broad and complex a topic to cover in depth over the course of one film, but A Headbanger's Journey is an excellent primer on the subject.’
    • ‘Nairne's introduction to the art market should serve as a primer for young artists and art historians to understand the institutional structures that control the art market.’
    • ‘Read only as a biographical primer, Houdini's Box captures the arc of Houdini's life.’
    • ‘This is perhaps the strongest section of the book, and serves as a great primer for beginning graduate students and non-specialists.’
    • ‘Despite its title, it is not intended to be either a textbook or a primer on specific debates among historians.’
    • ‘Clearly written, reasonably comprehensive, and addressing contemporary issues this book could well serve as a stimulating primer on imperial history.’
    • ‘In sum, Guide to Space serves as an excellent primer for nonscientific readers.’
    • ‘Michael Stacey has written a good primer on his subject.’
    • ‘Gaustad's work is unique in this regard and will serve as one of the best historical primers on the subject for years to come.’
    • ‘In a not-so-obvious way, the book and the journal serve as a preschool primer in anger-management therapy.’
    handbook, manual, guide, reference book, instruction book, abc, primer
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin primarius (liber) primary (book) and primarium (manuale) primary (manual).

Pronunciation:

primer

/ˈprʌɪmə/