[ pri-meer, -myeer, pree-meer ]
/ prɪˈmɪər, -ˈmyɪər, ˈpri mɪər /
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See synonyms for: premier / premiers on Thesaurus.com

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.
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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


pre·mier·ship, noun


premier , premiere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does premier mean?

Premier is used to refer to the head of the government of certain countries, equivalent to a prime minister, as in The premier of France gave a speech today.

Premier can also mean that something is highest in rank or is chief among a group, as in NASA is the premier authority on American spaceflight.

Alternatively, premier can mean that something occurred earliest in time or is the oldest, as in The director has come a long way since the inexperience she showed during her premier film.

The government position that a premier holds is referred to as a premiership, as in The popular premier restored a sense of respect and authority to the premiership.

The word premier can be easily confused with the word premiere, which is often pronounced exactly the same. Premiere refers to the first public showing or display of something, as in The museum announced the premiere of a new dinosaur exhibit scheduled for later this month. Notably, premiere is used as a verb while premier is not.

Example: The Italian premier met with the leaders of many other nations during the conference. 

Where does premier come from?

The first records of premier come from around 1400. It ultimately comes from the Latin prīmārius  meaning “of the first rank.” Today, premier is used to refer to both the highest rank of something as well as the actual person who holds this rank.

When translating the title of a country’s first minister into English, premier can generally be used interchangeably with prime minister. However, different countries may have different preferences as to which English term you should use. It’s always wise to check first.

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What are some other forms related to premier?

What are some synonyms for premier?

What are some words that share a root or word element with premier

What are some words that often get used in discussing premier?

What are some words premier may be commonly confused with?

How is premier used in real life?

Premier is commonly used as a leadership position in a government and to refer to something that was first.

Try using premier!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym of premier?

A. worst
B. oldest
C. earliest
D. leading

How to use premier in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for premier

/ (ˈprɛmjə) /

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

Cultural definitions for premier


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.