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[pri-mair-oh] /prɪˈmɛər oʊ/
a card game fashionable in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Origin of primero
1525-35; < Spanish: literally, first < Latin prīmārius primary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for primero
Historical Examples
  • So Decker: "Talke of none but lords and such ladies with whom you have plaid at primero."

    Microcosmography John Earle
  • REST, "set up one's—," venture one's all, one's last stake (from game of primero).

  • Near them play was going on at one table, and primero at a second.

    A Gentleman of France Stanley Weyman
  • primero, or ombre, is said to be the ancestor of our modern game of poker.

  • And now there had come into Suffolk a rumour that Mr. primero was to have a peerage.

    The Way We Live Now

    Anthony Trollope
  • No; but we shall find ourselves nearly on the banks of the river primero, and might set ourselves adrift on a raft.

    The Flying Horseman

    Gustave Aimard
  • The primero and Segundo, which rise in the province of Cordova, disappear in the same plains.

  • The rules of primero moreover demand that if there are but two players, a third and disinterested party shall deal the cards.

  • But if there was one man he hated more than another, it was his neighbour Mr. primero; and if one woman, it was Mrs. primero.

    The Way We Live Now

    Anthony Trollope
  • primero, whom Mr. Longestaffe regarded as quite an upstart, and anything but a gentleman, owed no man anything.

    The Way We Live Now

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for primero


(mainly Brit) a 16th- and 17th-century card game
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish primera card game, from primero first, from Latin prīmārius chief
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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