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at first

Initially, at the start, as in At first the berries were green, but when they ripened they turned bright red. [Second half of 1500s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Examples from the Web for at first

Historical Examples

  • Even Mr. Seward, cautious and conservative diplomat as he was, at-first "opposed any concession or surrender of the prisoners."

    The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln

    Francis Fisher Browne