Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb Prov. Eng. & Scot. To be formal or affected in dress or manners; -- often with up.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb dress or groom with elaborate care

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps alteration of prim.]

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    Hello, London.

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