A primer gets you ready for what comes next. You could use one kind of primer when you are learning to read, or another kind when you are preparing to paint a room.

Any way you use the word primer, it's a first step or preparation for something else. There's primer you use before painting, and an engine primer that prepares a machine to be started. In these examples, primer rhymes with timer. When primer describes an introductory textbook, it rhymes with dimmer. In the 14th century, a primer was a prayer book. This word comes from primus, the Latin word for first.

Primary Meanings of primer

an introductory textbook
any igniter that is used to initiate the burning of a propellant
Full Definitions of primer

n an introductory textbook

an introductory textbook to teach spelling
a primer that provides instruction in the rudiments or basic skills of a branch of knowledge
Type of:
school text, schoolbook, text, text edition, textbook
a book prepared for use in schools or colleges

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

fuse, fusee, fuze, fuzee, priming
detonating fuse
a fuse containing an explosive
safety fuse
a slow-burning fuse consisting of a tube or cord filled or saturated with combustible matter; used to ignite detonators from a distance
a fuse made to burn for a given time (especially to explode a bomb)
Type of:
igniter, ignitor, light, lighter
a device for lighting or igniting fuel or charges or fires

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

flat coat, ground, primer coat, priming, priming coat, undercoat
a flat coat of paint or varnish used by artists as a primer
Type of:
coat of paint
a layer of paint covering something else

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