[ furst ]
/ fɜrst /
being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, etc., used as the ordinal number of one: the first edition; the first vice president.
Music. highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class: first alto; first horn.
Automotive. low1(def 31).
(often initial capital letter) being a member of the household or an intimate acquaintance of the president of the U.S. or of the governor of a state: the First Lady; Checkers, the first dog.
before all others or anything else in time, order, rank, etc.
before some other thing, event, etc.: If you're going, phone first.
for the first time: She first visited Atlanta in 1980.
in preference to something else; rather; sooner: I'd die first.
in the first place; firstly.
the person or thing that is first in time, order, rank, etc.
the first part; first member of a series.
- 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.
Automotive. low gear; first gear: She shifted into first and drove off.
the winning position or rank in a race or other competition.
Baseball. first base.
Usually firsts. Commerce.
- 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.
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Idioms for first
first and last, everything considered; above all else; altogether: First and last, it is important to know oneself.
first off, Informal. at the outset; immediately: He wanted to know first off why he hadn't been notified.
first thing, before anything else; at once; promptly: I'll call you first thing when I arrive.
Origin of first
OTHER WORDS FROM firstfirst·ness, adjective
Words nearby first
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for first thing
/ (fɜːst) /
adjective (usually prenominal)
- coming before all others; earliest, best, or foremost
- (as noun)I was the first to arrive
preceding all others in numbering or counting order; the ordinal number of one . Often written: 1st
rated, graded, or ranked above all other levels
denoting the lowest forward ratio of a gearbox in a motor vehicle
- 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
first thing as the first action of the dayI'll see you first thing tomorrow
first things first things must be done in order of priority
the first thing (in negative constructions) even one thinghe doesn't know the first thing about me
the beginning; outsetI knew you were a rogue from the first; I couldn't see at first because of the mist
education, mainly British an honours degree of the highest classFull term: first-class honours degree
something which has not occurred beforea first for the company
the lowest forward ratio of a gearbox in a motor vehicle; low gear
- 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
music a rare word for prime (def. 11)
before anything else in order, time, preference, importance, etcdo this first; first, remove the head and tail of the fish
first and last on the whole; overall
from first to last throughout
for the first timeI've loved you since I first saw you
(sentence modifier) in the first place or beginning of a series of actionsfirst I want to talk about criminality
See also firsts
Word Origin for first
Old English fyrest; related to Old Saxon furist, Old Norse fyrstr, German Fürst prince, one who is first in rank
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
Medical definitions for first thing
[ fûrst ]
Coming before all others in order or location.
Occurring or acting before all others in time; earliest.
Being the innermost digit, especially on a foot.
Other words from firstfirst n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with first thing (1 of 2)
Before anything else; without delay. For example, Tom was supposed to call him first thing in the morning. [Late 1500s] Also see under first and foremost; first off.
Idioms and Phrases with first thing (2 of 2)
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.