- formally precise or proper, as persons or behavior; stiffly neat.
- to draw up the mouth in an affectedly nice or precise way.
- to make prim, as in appearance.
- to draw (one's face, lips, etc.) into a prim expression.
Origin of prim1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for primness
She accepted with a slight recrudescence of primness; but her eyes did not leave him now.Tristram of Blent
Yet he possessed humor enough, and there certainly was no primness about him.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn
"You must take pains to avoid me," said Dora, schooling her lips to primness.Double Harness
I have always desired to look natty and I have spurts of primness.My Wonderful Visit
It is not that we would have primness in the sex, but we would have refinement.Conversation
Andrew P. Peabody
- affectedly proper, precise, or formal
- (tr) to make prim
- to purse (the mouth) primly or (of the mouth) to be so pursed
Word Origin and History for primness
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.