Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To dress or groom (oneself) with meticulous or excessive attention to detail.
  • intransitive v. To dress or groom oneself with elaborate care; preen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To spend time improving ones appearance (often in front of a mirror).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. To be formal or affected in dress or manners; -- often with up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dross or deck (one's self) in a formal and affected manner.
  • To be formal or affected.

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

  • v. dress or groom with elaborate care

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of prim1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • No woman, "primp" herself for the sitting as she may, can present her soul to the dapper gentleman under the canopy of black velvet as Sully saw it.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 17, No. 097, January, 1876

  • Female bonobos and chimpanzees have been seen to put dead rats on their heads and "primp" themselves in the mirror, suggesting that even fashion and vanity are not unique to humans.

    Thomas Paine's Corner

  • Using a little water, smooth, primp or sculpt as desired.

    Earth, Wind, Fire and Fish

  • Most stories do something satisfying with the mess of tedium and violence that is living; they give it focus and form, tone it up, calm it down, shape it tidily, fluff it or primp it or tame its wilder edges, until you have something sleek and purring in your hands, rather than the slightly unkempt beast that life usually resembles, with a tendency to charge at you out of dark places.

    Bad Blood « Tales from the Reading Room

  • As for me, la délégatrice, I've got beds to make, a patio to sweep, flower pots to primp ... and one larger-than-life Mom to greet at the Marseilles airport tomorrow.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Coming with that, apparently, comes the ridiculous social calendar that my sister has planned out, so I'm just gonna upload some pictures to prove I actually got on the plane and go primp a bit.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • And just as Hamlet's mother said, "the lady doth protest too much," "the narcissist doth brag, scorn, talk down, primp and belittle too much" in order to continually prove to the world and themselves that they are larger than life.

    Mark Goulston, M.D.: Rage -- Coming Soon From a Narcissist Near You

  • And it's refreshing to see a teenage female lead who doesn't primp or pine.

    Avital Binshtock: An Environmentalist's Review of True Grit

  • The closing up shopkeeper stars give us a final primp to themselves on that rising plane of light while birds of every fair feather smooth down the sharp shoulders of coming day with all but their brightest as if to say we know we are but shoelaces to her soon to be running along side the current alive wind's own two feet.

    All About That Place

  • Los Angeles Magazine's Best of LA 2010 list includes the best places to shop and primp.

    Los Angeles' Best Shops And Spas

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