1. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest; as, the first day of a month; the first year of a reign.
2. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.
3. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest; as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.
At first blush. See under Blush.
At first hand, from the first or original source; without the intervention of any agent.
It is the intention of the person to reveal it at first hand, by way of mouth, to yourself. --Dickens.
-- First coat Plastering, the solid foundation of coarse stuff, on which the rest is placed; it is thick, and crossed with lines, so as to give a bond for the next coat.
First day, Sunday; -- so called by the Friends.
First floor. (a) The ground floor. [U.S.] (b) The floor next above the ground floor. [Eng.]
First fruit or First fruits. (a) The fruits of the season earliest gathered. (b) Feudal Law One year's profits of lands belonging to the king on the death of a tenant who held directly from him. (c) Eng. Eccl. Law The first year's whole profits of a benefice or spiritual living. (d) The earliest effects or results.
See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man! --Milton.
-- First mate, an officer in a merchant vessel next in rank to the captain.
First name, same as Christian name. See under Name, n.
First officer Naut., in the merchant service, same as First mate (above).
First sergeant Mil., the ranking non-commissioned officer in a company; the orderly sergeant. --Farrow.
First watch Naut., the watch from eight to twelve at midnight; also, the men on duty during that time.
First water, the highest quality or purest luster; -- said of gems, especially of diamond and pearls.
Syn: -- Primary; primordial; primitive; primeval; pristine; highest; chief; principal; foremost.
First adv. Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.; -- much used in composition with adjectives and participles.
Adam was first formed, then Eve. --1 Tim. ii. 13.
At first, At the first, at the beginning or origin.
First or last, at one time or another; at the beginning or end.
And all are fools and lovers first or last. --Dryden.
First, n. Mus. The upper part of a duet, trio, etc., either vocal or instrumental; -- so called because it generally expresses the air, and has a preëminence in the combined effect.
adj 1: preceding all others in time or space or degree; "the first
house on the right"; "the first day of spring"; "his
first political race"; "her first baby"; "the first
time"; "the first meetings of the new party"; "the
first phase of his training" [ant: last, intermediate]
2: indicating the beginning unit in a series [syn: 1st]
3: serving to set in motion; "the magazine's inaugural issue";
"the initiative phase in the negotiations"; "an initiatory
step toward a treaty"; "his first (or maiden) speech in
Congress"; "the liner's maiden voyage" [syn: inaugural,
initiative, initiatory, maiden]
4: serving to begin; "the beginning canto of the poem"; "the
first verse" [syn: beginning(a)]
5: ranking above all others; "was first in her class"; "the
foremost figure among marine artists"; "the top graduate"
[syn: foremost, world-class]
6: highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or
instruments or orchestra sections; "first soprano"; "the
first violin section"; "played first horn" [ant: second]
7: being the gear producing the lowest drive speed; "use first
gear on steep hills" [syn: low]
n 1: the first or highest in an ordering or series; "He wanted to
be the first" [syn: number one]
2: the first element in a countable series; "the first of the
month" [syn: number one, number 1]
3: the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got
an early start"; "she knew from the get-go that he was the
man for her" [syn: beginning, commencement, outset,
get-go, start, kickoff, starting time, showtime,
offset] [ant: middle, end]
4: the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who
is stationed at first base [syn: first base]
5: an honours degree of the highest class [syn: first-class
6: the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor
vehicle; used to start a car moving [syn: first gear, low
adv 1: before anything else; "first we must consider the garter
snake" [syn: firstly, foremost, first of all, first
2: the initial time; "when Felix first saw a garter snake"
[syn: for the first time]
3: before another in time, space, or importance; "I was here
first"; "let's do this job first"
4: prominently forward; "he put his best foot foremost" [syn: foremost]