## Origin of prime

^{1}); (noun) in part derivative of the adjective; in part continuing Middle English prim(e) “first canonical hour,” Old English prim, from Latin prīma (hōra) “first (hour)”; (verb) apparently derivative of the adjective

## synonym study for prime

## OTHER WORDS FROM prime

## Words nearby prime

## VOCAB BUILDER

## What is a basic definition of *prime*?

The word *prime* is used in mathematics to refer to a *prime* number, a number that can only be divided by itself or the number 1 to equal a whole number. The word prime can be used to describe something as the most important or most relevant among other similar things, like a *prime* example or a *prime* suspect. The word *prime* has many other senses as an adjective, noun, and verb.

A number is considered to be a *prime* number if it can only be divided by itself and 1 to get a whole number, meaning there is no fractional or decimal remainder.

**Real-life example:**The number 7 is a*prime*number. It can be divided by itself to equal 1 or by 1 to equal 7. Dividing 7 by any other number will not result in a whole number. For example, 7 divided by 2 is 3.5 (3 ½). Numbers that aren’t*prime*are called*composite numbers**.*The number 6, for example, is a composite number because it can be divided by 3 to equal 2, which is a whole number. The numbers 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, and 17 are examples of*prime*numbers.**Used in a sentence:***The number 51 is not a prime number because it can be divided by 3 to get 17.*

The word *prime* is also used as an adjective to describe something as the most important among other things. The adjectives *primary* and *chief* are close synonyms.

**Real-life example:**If a high school student’s grades are the*prime*factor that a college considers when reviewing their application, this means it is the most important thing being considered. Your mom might say that you lying to her is the*prime*reason she is grounding you. This means that the lie was the most important reason and the fact that you didn’t clean your room or walk the dog are less important reasons.**Used in a sentence:***Studying before taking tests is the prime factor that will determine if you pass or fail a class.*

The word *prime* is also used as an adjective to describe something as the most relevant or significant.

**Real-life example:**Your teacher might say that Bill Gates is a prime example of how learning about computers can lead to success in life, meaning he is the best example.**Used in a sentence:***The fact that my sister gave me $100 with no questions asked is a prime example of her generosity.*

## Where does *prime* come from?

The first records of the word *prime* come from before 1000. It ultimately comes from the Latin *prīmus,* meaning “first.” The noun use of *prime* came first from the Latin *prīma hora,* meaning “the first hour.”

Things that are described as *prime* are often first in importance and first in significance among other similar things.

## Did you know ... ?

**What are some other forms related to prime?**

- primeness (noun)
- primely (adverb)
- nonprime (adjective)
- self-primed (adjective)

**What are some synonyms for prime?**

**What are some words that share a root or word element with prime? **

**What are some words that often get used in discussing prime?**

## How is *prime* used in real life?

*Prime* is an extremely common word with many meanings. It is often used to mean “first” or “top.”

Being 23 keeps me at peace because it’s a prime number. I’m terrified to turn 24 it’s too divisible

— jillian (@Jillianhalmos) November 16, 2020

Technology is the prime reason our schemes have transcended files and changed lives of the people at such a speed and scale: PM

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 19, 2020

RIP Alex Trebek.

The prime example of consistency and decency.

— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) November 8, 2020

## Try using *prime*!

**Is the number 24 a prime number?**