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

  • adj. Foremost in quality, rank, or importance.
  • adv. Informal Very well; excellently.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ship of the line in the British navy that had over 100 guns on three gun decks
  • adj. Describing a ship of the line in the British navy that had over 100 guns on three gundecks
  • adj. Exceptionally good

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of the highest excellence; preëminent in quality, size, or estimation.
  • adj. of the highest quality.
  • n. A war vessel of the highest grade or the most powerful class.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of the first class or rate; especially, of the highest excellence; preëminent in quality or estimation.
  • n. Something rated among the first or in the first class; specifically, a war-ship of the first or most powerful rating or class.

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

  • adv. quite well
  • adj. of the highest quality


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • No country has achieved first-rate health care, or strong transportation infrastructure, or pioneering scientific research without the help of government.

    The Good Fight

  • Today, older Americans do have independent lives and first-rate medical care.

    The Good Fight

  • He is a first-rate composer, whether writing for the movie screen or his own quintet or, better yet, some combination of both.

    From Melodies to Medleys

  • Aficionados may guess the killer early on, but the first-rate characters and chilling story are entrancing from start to finish.

    The Crossing Places: Summary and book reviews of The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths.

  • All of this may sound dry, but Ms. Hvistendahl is a first-rate reporter and has filled "Unnatural Selection" with gripping details.

    The War Against Girls

  • A first-rate reporter in his day, Waldman covers an enormous amount of ground, despite the fact the final product is pared down from the scope of the intended report.

    Eric Alterman: The FCC's New 'Local' Focus: Too Little, Too Late?

  • At the other end of the spectrum, some first-rate sites (www. and www. are only updated every few months or left to lapse while their authors undertake other tasks.

    Have Food Blogs Come of Age?

  • Although Venice nurtured many first-rate artists, Canaletto is Venice.

    Waning Genius in Venice

  • Every other aspect of this production is first-rate, from the fabulous three-piece onstage band to Donyale Werle 's set, which turns the living room of the Hermitage, Jackson' s Tennessee mansion, into a duplicate of a downtown club.

    Emo-cracy Comes to Broadway

  • His twangy voice is strong, his three solo compositions first-rate, as are the songs he wrote with Mr. John and Mr. John's longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin.

    Elton John's American Idol


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.