[pri-meer, -myeer, pree-meer]


the head of the cabinet in France or Italy or certain other countries; first minister; prime minister.
a chief officer.


first in rank; chief; leading.
first in time; earliest; oldest.

Origin of premier

1400–50; late Middle English primer, primier, premer (adj.) < Anglo-French primer, premer and Middle French premier, primier literally, first < Latin prīmārius of the first rank; see primary
Related formspre·mier·ship, noun
Can be confusedpremier premiere Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for premier

Contemporary Examples of premier

Historical Examples of premier

  • But the friends of Protection did not leave the Premier without opposition.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • The premier and some of his colleagues observed, however, a moody silence.

  • Beckendorff himself, the Premier, is the son of a peasant; and of course not noble.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • It was he, who, during the illness of the then Premier, despatched the contingent to the Soudan.

  • The Premier did not approve of the suggestion, nor was it like to meet acceptance at home.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for premier



another name for prime minister
any of the heads of governments of the Canadian provinces and the Australian states
(plural) Australian the winners of a premiership

adjective (prenominal)

first in importance, rank, etc
first in occurrence; earliest

Word Origin for premier

C15: from Old French: first, from Latin prīmārius principal, from prīmus first
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

Word Origin and History for premier

mid-15c., "first in time;" late 15c. as "first in rank," from Middle French premier "first, chief," from Latin primarius "of the first rank, chief" (see primary (adj.)).


1711 in the political sense, a shortening of premier minister (1680s); see premier (adj.). In U.S. usage, premier formerly was applied occasionally to the Secretary of State (1855-c.1900).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

premier in Culture


The head of government in many nations. A premier's position is usually the same as that of a prime minister. The chiefs of government of the provinces of Canada are called premiers.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.