Primary vs Foundation - What's the difference?

primary | foundation |

As nouns the difference between primary and foundation

is that primary is a primary election; a preliminary election to select a political candidate of a political party while foundation is the act of founding, fixing, establishing, or beginning to erect.

As an adjective primary

is the first in a group or series.

As a verb primary

is (us|intransitive) to take part in a primary election.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



(en adjective)
  • The first in a group or series.
  • Children attend primary school, and teenagers attend secondary school.
  • * Bishop Pearson
  • the church of Christ, in its primary institution
  • * John Locke
  • These I call original, or primary , qualities of body.
  • Main; principal; placed ahead of others.
  • Preferred stock has primary claim on dividends, ahead of common stock.
  • (geology) Earliest formed; fundamental.
  • (chemistry) Illustrating, possessing, or characterized by, some quality or property in the first degree; having undergone the first stage of substitution or replacement.
  • (label) idiopathic
  • Derived terms

    * primarily * primary care * primary color, primary colour * primary producer * primary research * primary school * primary source

    See also

    * first * primus inter pares * secondary (2) * tertiary (3) * quaternary (4)


  • A primary election; a preliminary election to select a political candidate of a political party.
  • The first year of grade school.
  • A base or fundamental component; something that is irreducible.
  • The most massive component of a gravitationally bound system.
  • A primary school.
  • * 2001 , David Woods, Martyn Cribb, Effective LEAs and school improvement
  • Excellence in Cities offers a further development of this approach, whereby secondary schools operate with small clusters of primaries as mini-EAZs.
  • (ornithology) Any flight feather attached to the manus (hand) of a bird.
  • A primary colour.
  • * 2003 , Julie A Jacko, Andrew Sears, The human-computer interaction handbook
  • By adding and subtracting the three primaries , cyan, yellow, and magenta are produced. These are called subtractive primaries.
  • (electronics) A directly driven inductive coil, as in a transformer or induction motor that is magnetically coupled to a secondary
  • Verb

  • (US) To take part in a primary election.
  • (US, politics) To challenge an incumbent sitting politician for their political party's endorsement to run for re-election, through running a challenger campaign in a primary election
  • foundation



    (en noun)
  • The act of founding, fixing, establishing, or beginning to erect.
  • That upon which anything is founded; that on which anything stands, and by which it is supported; the lowest and supporting layer of a superstructure; groundwork; basis; underbuilding.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= The attack of the MOOCs , passage=Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations . University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.}}
  • (card games) In solitaire or patience games, one of the piles of cards that the player attempts to build, usually holding all cards of a suit in ascending order.
  • (architecture) The lowest and supporting part or member of a wall, including the base course and footing courses; in a frame house, the whole substructure of masonry.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=May 20, author=Nathan Rabin, work=The Onion AV Club
  • , title= TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Marge Gets A Job” (season 4, episode 7; originally aired 11/05/1992) , passage=“Marge Gets A Job” opens with the foundation of the Simpson house tilting perilously to one side, making the family homestead look like the suburban equivalent of the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. }}
  • A donation or legacy appropriated to support a charitable institution, and constituting a permanent fund; endowment.
  • That which is founded, or established by endowment; an endowed institution or charity.
  • (cosmetics) Cosmetic cream roughly skin-colored, designed to make the face appear uniform in color and texture.
  • A basis for social bodies or intellectual disciplines.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-03, volume=408, issue=8847, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Boundary problems , passage=Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too.

    Derived terms

    * foundation stone


    *(act of founding) establishment *groundwall


    *(act of founding) abolition, dissolution, ruination