being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, etc., used as the ordinal number of one: the first edition; the first vice president.
Music. highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class:
first alto; first horn.
Automotive. 1 (def 31).
(often initial capital letter) being a member of the household or an intimate acquaintance of the president of the U.S. or of the governor of a state:
the First Lady; Checkers, the first dog.
before all others or anything else in time, order, rank, etc.
before some other thing, event, etc.:
If you’re going, phone first.
for the first time:
She first visited Atlanta in 1980.
in preference to something else; rather; sooner:
I’d die first.
in the first place; firstly.
the person or thing that is first in time, order, rank, etc.
the first part; first member of a series.
Automotive. low gear; first gear:
She shifted into first and drove off.
the winning position or rank in a race or other competition.
Usually, firsts. Commerce.
Compare 1 (def 23), (def 12).
first and last, everything considered; above all else; altogether:
First and last, it is important to know oneself.
first off, Informal. at the outset; immediately:
He wanted to know first off why he hadn’t been notified.
first thing, before anything else; at once; promptly:
I’ll call you first thing when I arrive.
saleable goods of the highest quality
adjective (usually prenominal)
preceding all others in numbering or counting order; the ordinal number of one. Often written: 1st
rated, graded, or ranked above all other levels
denoting the lowest forward ratio of a gearbox in a motor vehicle
first thing, as the first action of the day: I’ll see you first thing tomorrow
first things first, things must be done in order of priority
(in negative constructions) the first thing, even one thing: he doesn’t know the first thing about me
the beginning; outset: I knew you were a rogue from the first, I couldn’t see at first because of the mist
(education, mainly Brit) an honours degree of the highest class Full term first-class honours degree
something which has not occurred before: a first for the company
the lowest forward ratio of a gearbox in a motor vehicle; low gear
(music) a rare word for prime (sense 11)
before anything else in order, time, preference, importance, etc: do this first, first, remove the head and tail of the fish
first and last, on the whole; overall
from first to last, throughout
for the first time: I’ve loved you since I first saw you
(sentence modifier) in the first place or beginning of a series of actions: first I want to talk about criminality
Old English fyrst “foremost,” superlative of fore; from Proto-Germanic *furisto- (cf. Old Saxon fuirst “first,” Old High German furist, Old Norse fyrstr, Danish første, Old Frisian ferist, Middle Dutch vorste “prince,” Dutch vorst “first,” German Fürst “prince”), superlative of *fur-/*for-, from PIE root *per- (1) “forward, through” (see per).
First-class (adj.) is from 1837; first-rate (1660s) is from classes of warships in the British navy. First aid is that given at the scene, pending the arrival of a doctor.
First Lady as an informal title for the wife of a U.S. president was in use by 1908, short for First lady of the land (by 1863 with reference to the president’s wife). First name is attested from mid-13c.; first-born is from mid-14c. First base “a start” (1938) is a figurative use from the game of baseball.
Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types
- First sacker
noun phrase A first baseman (1911+ Baseball)
- First-sale doctrine
noun 1. a legal principle allowing the purchaser of a lawfully made copy of a copyright-protected work to sell or give away that copy without permission but not to reproduce it.
- First secretary
noun 1. the chief minister of the National Assembly for Wales
noun, U.S. Army. 1. the senior noncommissioned officer of a company, squadron, etc., responsible for personnel and administration.