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[furst-lee] /ˈfɜrst li/
in the first place; first.
Origin of firstly
First recorded in 1525-35; first + -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for firstly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • firstly, I ask what shall we do if reason prove recalcitrant?

  • There is firstly that obtrusive militarism from which we cannot for a moment escape.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • firstly, to observe that the Inquest was not held in that place, but at some distance off.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • firstly there is the witness of that ecstasy of mood of which we have spoken.

    The Lyric John Drinkwater
  • firstly, because he cares for physical adventure, just as you do.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for firstly


coming before other points, questions, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for firstly

1530s, but never a common word (simple first usually serving its place), from first + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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