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prim1

[prim] /prɪm/
adjective, primmer, primmest.
1.
formally precise or proper, as persons or behavior; stiffly neat.
verb (used without object), primmed, primming.
2.
to draw up the mouth in an affectedly nice or precise way.
verb (used with object), primmed, primming.
3.
to make prim, as in appearance.
4.
to draw (one's face, lips, etc.) into a prim expression.
Origin of prim1
1675-1685
First recorded in 1675-85; origin uncertain
Related forms
primly, adverb
primness, noun
unprimmed, adjective
Synonyms
1. prissy, formal, rigid.
Antonyms
1. flexible.

prim2

[prim] /prɪm/
noun
1.
Origin
First recorded in 1565-75; shortening of earlier primprint privet < ?

prim.

1.
2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prim
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it was at the other that he gazed even as he returned Betty's prim little bow.

  • It was broad daylight, and the door leading into the prim little hall was ajar.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • The one servant of the house waited at table, prim, sedate, formal.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • That would account for the big yarns he tells prim about Africa and such.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • And the prim and practical matron grew more and more fond of her.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for prim

prim

/prɪm/
adjective primmer, primmest
1.
affectedly proper, precise, or formal
verb prims, primming, primmed
2.
(transitive) to make prim
3.
to purse (the mouth) primly or (of the mouth) to be so pursed
Derived Forms
primly, adverb
primness, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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 prim

1680s (v.) "to assume a formal, precise demeanor," perhaps from French prim "thin, small, delicate," from Old French prim "fine, delicate," from Latin primus "finest," literally "first" (see prime (adj.)). Later, "deck out, dress to effect" (1721). Attested as a noun from 1700. The adjective, the sole surviving sense, is from 1709. A cant word at first. Related: Primly; primness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for prim

8
10
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