[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 premiership

Contemporary Examples of premiership

  • During her premiership, inflation fell from a high of 27 percent in 1975 to 2.5 percent by 1986.

  • Netanyahu addressed the summit following one of the most historic days of his premiership.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Netanyahu Balks At Base

    Zachary Fenster

    July 20, 2012

  • Shamir was returning to the premiership under a power-sharing agreement with Shimon Peres's Labor Party.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Last Revolutionary

    Gershom Gorenberg

    July 2, 2012

  • There was hardly a voice that did not lament his elevation to the premiership.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Man Who Reinvented India

    Noah Kristula-Green

    May 24, 2012

  • There is a new Battle for Britain and winning it will be one of the greatest challenges of David Cameron's premiership.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Stand-Alone Scotland

    Alex Massie

    January 11, 2012

Historical Examples of premiership

British Dictionary definitions for premiership



the office of premier
  1. a championship competition held among a number of sporting clubs
  2. a victory in such a championship



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 premiership



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

premiership 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.