- the voice or instrument that takes the highest or chief part in its class, especially in an orchestra or chorus.
- a leader of a part or group of performers.
- a product or goods of the first or highest quality.
- goods produced according to specifications, without visible flaws.
- first-class honors.Compare class(def 18).
- a person who has won such honors.
- firn line,
- first aid,
- first amendment,
- first and foremost,
- first and last,
- first axiom of countability
Origin of first
Examples from the Web for first
Fluoride first entered an American water supply through a rather inelegant technocratic scheme.
In the first episode, an officer is shown video of himself shooting and killing a man.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But since those rosy scenarios were first floated, the California political scene has grown more crowded.
Eric Garcetti succeeded Villaraigosa and has received high marks in his first year and a half on the job.
He sees himself as the first Muslim president of all Europe.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Here at Holkham Bay in 1876 began the first placer gold-mining in Alaska.America, Volume 6 (of 6)|Joel Cook
The first abstract of votes polled in St. Croix county was for delegate to Congress and for county officers.Fifty Years In The Northwest|William Henry Carman Folsom
After the first moment she did not look at Julian; she looked away from him out of the window.The Second Fiddle|Phyllis Bottome
The sound of merry voices and laughing came from within, and his first hesitating knock was unanswered.Tom Brown's School Days|Thomas Hughes
His "Main Traveled Roads," the first of many editions appearing in 1891, made him famous.Prairie Gold|Various
adjective (usually prenominal)
- coming before all others; earliest, best, or foremost
- (as noun)I was the first to arrive
- denoting the highest part assigned to one of the voice parts in a chorus or one of the sections of an orchestrafirst soprano; the first violins
- denoting the principal player in a specific orchestral sectionhe plays first horn
- the highest part in a particular section of a chorus or orchestra
- the instrument or voice taking such a part
- the chief or leading player in a section of an orchestra; principal
Word Origin for first
Old English fyrst "foremost," superlative of fore; from Proto-Germanic *furisto- (cf. Old Saxon fuirst "first," Old High German furist, Old Norse fyrstr, Danish første, Old Frisian ferist, Middle Dutch vorste "prince," Dutch vorst "first," German Fürst "prince"), superlative of *fur-/*for-, from PIE root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).
First-class (adj.) is from 1837; first-rate (1660s) is from classes of warships in the British navy. First aid is that given at the scene, pending the arrival of a doctor.
First Lady as an informal title for the wife of a U.S. president was in use by 1908, short for First lady of the land (by 1863 with reference to the president's wife). First name is attested from mid-13c.; first-born is from mid-14c. First base "a start" (1938) is a figurative use from the game of baseball.
In addition to the idioms beginning with first
- first and foremost
- first and last
- first blush
- first come, first served
- first cousin
- first hand
- first of all
- first off
- first thing
- first things first
- at first
- at first blush
- at first hand
- cast the first stone
- get to first base
- if at first you don't succeed
- in the first place
- in the (first) flush of
- love at first sight
- not know beans (the first thing)
- of the first water
- on a first-name basis