of the first importance; demanding the fullest consideration: a prime requisite.
of the greatest relevance or significance: a prime example.
of the highest eminence or rank: the prime authority on Chaucer.
of the greatest commercial value: prime building lots.
first-rate: This ale is prime!
(of meat, especially of beef) noting or pertaining to the first grade or best quality: prime ribs of beef.
first in order of time, existence, or development; earliest; primitive.
basic; fundamental: the prime axioms of his philosophy.
Mathematics. (of any two or more numbers) having no common divisor except unity: The number 2 is prime to 9.
the most flourishing stage or state.
the time of early manhood or womanhood: the prime of youth.
the period or state of greatest perfection or vigor of human life: a man in his prime.
the choicest or best part of anything.
(especially in the grading of U.S. beef) a grade, classification, or designation indicating the highest or most desirable quality.
the beginning or earliest stage of any period.
the spring of the year.
the first hour or period of the day, after sunrise.
Banking. prime rate.
Ecclesiastical. the second of the seven canonical hours or the service for it, originally fixed for the first hour of the day.
one of the equal parts into which a unit is primarily divided.
the mark (′) indicating such a division: a, a′.
Fencing. the first of eight defensive positions.
(in a scale) the tonic or keynote.
Linguistics. any basic, indivisible unit used in linguistic analysis.
Metallurgy. a piece of tin plate free from visible defects.
to prepare or make ready for a particular purpose or operation.
to supply (a firearm) with powder for communicating fire to a charge.
to lay a train of powder to (a charge, mine, etc.).
to pour or admit liquid into (a pump) to expel air and prepare for action.
to put fuel into (a carburetor) before starting an engine, in order to insure a sufficiently rich mixture at the start.
to cover (a surface) with a preparatory coat or color, as in painting.
to supply or equip with information, words, etc., for use: The politician was primed by his aides for the press conference.
to harvest the bottom leaves from (a tobacco plant).
(of a boiler) to deliver or discharge steam containing an excessive amount of water.
to harvest the bottom leaves from a tobacco plant.
- primeness, noun
- non·prime, adjective
- re·prime, verb (used with object), re·primed, re·prim·ing.
- self-primed, adjective
- un·primed, adjective
- well-primed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prime in a sentence
It will be Biden’s first prime-time town hall since accepting the Democratic nomination.Election live updates: Trump returns to Wisconsin; Biden to face live audience at town hall | Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 17, 2020 | Washington Post
So if the pathogen returns, the cell is already primed to respond faster.‘Trained Immunity’ Offers Hope in Fight Against Coronavirus | Esther Landhuis | September 14, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
The overnight nationwide lockdown announced by prime minister Narendra Modi on March 24 forced over 10 million migrant labourers to return to their home states.India’s harsh Covid-19 lockdown displaced at least 10 million migrants | Niharika Sharma | September 14, 2020 | Quartz
Birgitte’s prime ministership is certainly historic, but when it comes time for her to actually accomplish anything of note, she struggles to get things done.One Good Thing: A Danish drama perfect for political devotees, now on Netflix | Emily VanDerWerff | September 11, 2020 | Vox
The most common digital encryption technique, RSA, which was invented in 1977, is based on multiplying two large prime numbers.Quantum computers threaten to end digital security. Here’s what’s being done about it | Jeremy Kahn | September 11, 2020 | Fortune
Domestically, the prime minister maintains the dubious line that he is the only man who can keep the still-fragile peace.
Hamish Marshall himself is a former staffer of prime Minister Harper.How Canadian Oilmen Pinkwash the Keystone Pipeline | Jay Michaelson | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Castro actually flew up to Montreal to be a pallbearer at the 2000 funeral of a beloved Canadian prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.
A prime example: your “real name” policy, which unfairly targeted the LGBTQ community.10 Things That Made Us Want to Turn Off the Internet Forever in 2014 | The Daily Beast | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When they were working together, 35 years ago, she was in her prime and one of the most beautiful women in the world.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But,” said the prime minister of Flatland, starting a difficulty, “who is to be greatest chief?The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
The Minister pointed out to them the attendant difficulties, and referred them to the prime Minister.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
Even then the prime Minister was with difficulty prevented from bowling during forbidden hours.
Thimbletoes doesn't fancy that, you know, because the prime Minister has all the honey he wants, by way of a salary.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
Spencer Perceval, prime minister of Great Britain, shot in the lobby of the house of commons.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
British Dictionary definitions for prime
(prenominal) first in quality or value; first-rate
(prenominal) fundamental; original
(prenominal) first in importance, authority, etc; chief
having no factors except itself or one: x² + x + 3 is a prime polynomial
(foll by to) having no common factors (with): 20 is prime to 21
finance having the best credit rating: prime investments
the time when a thing is at its best
a period of power, vigour, etc, usually following youth (esp in the phrase the prime of life)
the beginning of something, such as the spring
maths short for prime number
linguistics a semantically indivisible element; minimal component of the sense of a word
the tonic of a scale
mainly RC Church the second of the seven canonical hours of the divine office, originally fixed for the first hour of the day, at sunrise
the first of eight basic positions from which a parry or attack can be made in fencing
to prepare (something); make ready
(tr) to apply a primer, such as paint or size, to (a surface)
(tr) to fill (a pump) with its working fluid before starting, in order to improve the sealing of the pump elements and to expel air from it before starting
(tr) to increase the quantity of fuel in the float chamber of (a carburettor) in order to facilitate the starting of an engine
(tr) to insert a primer into (a gun, mine, charge, etc) preparatory to detonation or firing
(intr) (of a steam engine or boiler) to operate with or produce steam mixed with large amounts of water
(tr) to provide with facts, information, etc, beforehand; brief
- primely, adverb
- primeness, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with prime
In addition to the idioms beginning with prime
- prime mover
- prime of life
- prime the pump
- past one's prime
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.