- prime number.
- one of the equal parts into which a unit is primarily divided.
- the mark (′) indicating such a division: a, a′.
- unison(def 2).
- (in a scale) the tonic or keynote.
verb (used with object), primed, prim·ing.
verb (used without object), primed, prim·ing.
- prime cost,
- prime field,
- prime focus,
- prime ideal,
- prime interest rate
Origin of prime
Examples from the Web for prime
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|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|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|DAILY BEAST
He was a prime favourite with Queen Elizabeth, and she knew how to exalt and abase, to create and destroy.The Birth of the Nation|Mrs. Roger A. Pryor
In a word, he was the prime instrument of all the cruelties exercised for a number of years, while he obtained the king's ear.Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies)|John Howie
He was a strong, robust man in the prime of life, with a profession and hosts of acquaintances to help on his interests.Southern Hearts|Florence Hull Winterburn
Concentration is the prime requisite in attaining rapid results.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
Do not forget to take two or three candles, and replenish your stock if you burn them: they sometimes are a prime necessity.How to Camp Out|John M. Gould
- having no factors except itself or onex² + x + 3 is a prime polynomial
- (foll by to)having no common factors (with)20 is prime to 21
- the tonic of a scale
Word Origin for prime
late 14c., "first in order," from Latin primus "first, the first, first part," figuratively "chief, principal; excellent, distinguished, noble" (source also of Italian and Spanish primo), from pre-Italic *prismos, superlative of PIE *preis- "before," from root *per- (1) "beyond, through" (see per).
Meaning "first in importance" is from 1610s in English; that of "first-rate" is from 1620s. Arithmetical sense (e.g. prime number) is from 1560s; prime meridian is from 1878. Prime time originally (c.1500) meant "spring time;" broadcasting sense of "peak tuning-in period" is attested from 1961.
"earliest canonical hour" (6 a.m.), Old English prim, from Medieval Latin prima "the first service," from Latin prima hora "the first hour" (of the Roman day). Meaning "most vigorous stage" first recorded 1530s; specifically "springtime of human life" (often meaning ages roughly 21 to 28) is from 1590s. In classical Latin, noun uses of the adjective meant "first part, beginning; leading place."
"to fill, charge, load" (a weapon), 1510s, probably from prime (adj.). Meaning "to cover with a first coat of paint or dye" is from c.1600. To prime a pump (c.1840) meant to pour water down the tube, which saturated the sucking mechanism and made it draw up water more readily. Related: Primed; priming.
In addition to the idioms beginning with prime
- prime mover
- prime of life
- prime the pump
- past one's prime