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[pri-meer, -myeer, pree-meer] /prɪˈmɪər, -ˈmyɪər, ˈpri mɪər/
the head of the cabinet in France or Italy or certain other countries; first minister; prime minister.
a chief officer.
first in rank; chief; leading.
first in time; earliest; oldest.
Origin of premier
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English primer, primier, premer (adj.) < Anglo-French primer, premer and Middle French premier, primier literally, first < Latin prīmārius of the first rank; see primary
Related forms
premiership, noun
Can be confused
premier, premiere. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for premier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the friends of Protection did not leave the premier without opposition.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • The premier and some of his colleagues observed, however, a moody silence.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Beckendorff himself, the premier, is the son of a peasant; and of course not noble.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • It was he, who, during the illness of the then premier, despatched the contingent to the Soudan.

  • The premier did not approve of the suggestion, nor was it like to meet acceptance at home.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for premier


another name for prime minister
any of the heads of governments of the Canadian provinces and the Australian states
(pl) (Austral) the winners of a premiership
adjective (prenominal)
first in importance, rank, etc
first in occurrence; earliest
Word Origin
C15: from Old French: first, from Latin prīmārius principal, from prīmus first
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 premier

mid-15c., "first in time;" late 15c. as "first in rank," from Middle French premier "first, chief," from Latin primarius "of the first rank, chief" (see primary (adj.)).


1711 in the political sense, a shortening of premier minister (1680s); see premier (adj.). In U.S. usage, premier formerly was applied occasionally to the Secretary of State (1855-c.1900).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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premier in Culture

premier definition

The head of government in many nations. A premier's position is usually the same as that of a prime minister. The chiefs of government of the provinces of Canada are called premiers.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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