• synonyms

prima facie

[prahy-muh fey-shee-ee, fey-shee, fey-shuh, pree-]
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  1. at first appearance; at first view, before investigation.
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  1. plain or clear; self-evident; obvious.
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Origin of prima facie

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin prīmā faciē
Can be confusedad hoc a posteriori a priori ex post facto prima facie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for prima facie

Historical Examples

  • This is prima-facie evidence that the first statement was a libel.

    The Cathedrals of Southern France

    Francis Miltoun

  • This suggests the prima-facie probability that he was John Blackmore.

    The Mystery of 31 New Inn

    R. Austin Freeman

  • Nothing could show more clearly that the compilers feel that there is a prima-facie case against them.

  • There was no prima-facie absurdity in his hypothesis—and experiment was the sole means of demonstrating its truth or falsity.

British Dictionary definitions for prima facie

prima facie

  1. at first sight; as it seems at first
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin, from prīmus first + faciēs face
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 prima facie

Latin, literally "at first sight," ablative of prima facies "first appearance," from prima, fem. singular of primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + facies "form, face" (see face (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper