American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The ordinal number matching the number one in a series.
- n. The one coming, occurring, or ranking before or above all others.
- n. The beginning; the outset: from the first; at first.
- n. Music The voice or instrument highest in pitch or carrying the principal part.
- n. The transmission gear or corresponding gear ratio used to produce the range of lowest drive speeds in a motor vehicle.
- n. The winning position in a contest: finished the season in first.
- n. Baseball First base.
- n. Baseball A first baseman.
- adj. Corresponding in order to the number one.
- adj. Coming before all others in order or location: the first house on your left.
- adj. Occurring or acting before all others in time; earliest: the first day of spring.
- adj. Ranking above all others, as in importance or quality; foremost: was first in the class.
- adj. Music Being highest in pitch or carrying the principal part: first trumpet.
- adj. Of, relating to, or being the transmission gear or corresponding gear ratio used to produce the range of lowest drive speeds in a motor vehicle.
- adj. Of, related to, or being a member of the U.S. president's household: first daughter Amy Carter.
- adv. Before or above all others in time, order, rank, or importance: arrived first; forgot to light the oven first.
- adv. For the first time.
- adv. Rather; preferably: would die first.
- adv. In the first place; to begin with. See Usage Note at firstly.
- idiom. off From the start; immediately: Why wasn't I told first off? When I get to work, I have to call my lawyer first thing.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Being before all others; being the initial unit or aggregate in order of occurrence or arrangement as to time, place, or rank: the ordinal of one.
- Foremost in time; preceding all others of the kind in order of time: as, Adam was the first man; I was the first guest to arrive.
- Foremost in place; before all others from the point of view or consideration: as, the first man in a rank or line.
- Foremost in importance or estimation; before or superior to all others in character, quality, or degree: as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece; the part of first villain in a play; wheat of the first grade; specifically, in music, highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class: as, first alto; first horn.
- Synonyms Primary, primordial, original, primitive, pristine, earliest. See comparison under primary.
- Highest, chief, principal, capital, foremost, leading.
- n. That which is first; the beginning. or that which makes or constitutes a beginning.
- n. In music: The voice or instrument that takes the highest or chief part in its class, especially in an orchestra or chorus; a leader of a part or group of performers.
- n. The interval and concord of the unison or prime. See unison and prime.
- n. Same as first base (which see, above).
- n. The highest rank in an examination for honors: as, he got a first in mathematics. See double-first.
- n. Immediately.
- Before all others in place or progression, rank, order of time, etc.
- Hence Sooner; before doing or suffering (that is, so as not to do or suffer) some act or result: as, I will not do it, I will die first.
- n. Time; time granted; respite: same as frist.
- adj. Having no predecessor. The ordinal number corresponding to one.
- adv. Before anything else; firstly.
- n. uncountable The person or thing in the first position.
- n. uncountable The first gear of an engine.
- n. countable Something that has never happened before; a new occurrence.
- n. countable, baseball first base
- n. countable, UK, colloquial A first-class honours degree.
- n. countable, colloquial A first-edition copy of some publication.
- n. A fraction of an integer ending in one. Oneth.
- n. obsolete Time; time granted; respite.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest.
- adj. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.
- adj. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest.
- adv. Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.; -- much used in composition with adjectives and participles.
- n. (Mus.) The upper part of a duet, trio, etc., either vocal or instrumental; -- so called because it generally expresses the air, and has a preëminence in the combined effect.
- adj. serving to set in motion
- adv. the initial time
- n. the first element in a countable series
- adj. serving to begin
- adv. before anything else
- adv. before another in time, space, or importance
- adj. highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections
- adj. indicating the beginning unit in a series
- adj. ranking above all others
- n. the first or highest in an ordering or series
- n. the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first of the bases in the infield (counting counterclockwise from home plate)
- adj. preceding all others in time or space or degree
- n. an honours degree of the highest class
- n. the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving
- adv. prominently forward
- n. the time at which something is supposed to begin
- Middle English, from Old English fyrst. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Promoted to Headline (H3) on 6/26/08: Why were 'first responders' de-contaminated at the Pentagon? yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Why were \'first responders\' de-contaminated at the Pentagon? ”
“I recognize this puts me a bit at odds with the first commenter, but Epicurious is usually my *first* archive to search, given how it draws on decades of recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit.”
“A lot of this work has produced some exciting physical chemistry including the first observation of gravitational separation of isotopes and gases in a column..first predicted by Gibbs and observed many tens of decades later.”
“The music played in the orchestra was very beautiful; and the officer, who had behaved so politely to us in permitting the gates, on the first night of our arrival, to be opened, seated on a high stool, rose conspicuously above the other musicians, and seemed indeed the _first fiddle_.”
“To manure their date-groves they use the fins of a species of ray fish called _awwal_, steeped in water till they are putrid; _awwal_, by the way, was an ancient name of the Island of Bahrein, perhaps because it was the first island of the group in size, _awwal_ in Arabic meaning _first_.”
“Of course, at such first meeting, all the preliminaries prescribed as forming the _first_ movement of the act should be carried out _to the limit_.”
“The first legislature of Virginia was convened under the administration of Governor Sir George Yeardley, in the year 1626; but before this we find, during the _first_ administration of Governor”
“She feared that when for the first time I found myself not _first_ considered in all arrangements, I might fail in those particular points of conduct in which she was most anxious I should triumph.”
“A mortality of 53 for the first four years of life is smaller than any district known in the United States, even to-day, can show for the _first_ year of life _alone_.”
“Aesthetic_ that the _concept_ depends upon the _intuition_, which is the first degree, the primary and indispensable thing, so it is proved in the _Philosophy of the Practical_ that _Morality_ or _Ethic_ depends upon _Economic_, which is the _first_ degree of the practical activity.”
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