Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. At first sight; before closer inspection: They had, prima facie, a legitimate complaint.
  • adj. True, authentic, or adequate at first sight; ostensible: prima facie credibility.
  • adj. Evident without proof or reasoning; obvious: a prima facie violation of the treaty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. at first sight; on the face of it
  • adj. apparently correct; not needing proof unless evidence to the contrary is shown

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At first view; on the first appearance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. At first view or appearance. See at prime face, under prime, a.
  • n. A case consisting of evidence sufficient to go to the jury: that is to say, one which raises a presumption of fact, and hence will justify a verdict, though it may not require one.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. at first sight
  • adj. as it seems at first sight

Etymologies

Middle English, manifestly, from Latin prīmā faciē : prīmā, feminine ablative of prīmus, first + faciē, ablative of faciēs, shape, face.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • at first glance without additional investigation; self-evident; obvious

    November 30, 2007