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Initially, at the start, as in
At first the berries were green, but when they ripened they turned bright red
Second half of 1500s
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for at first
at each other's throats
at every turn
at face value, take
at first blush
at first hand
at full tilt