primer

1
[ prim-er or, esp. British, prahy-mer ]
/ ˈprɪm ər or, esp. British, ˈpraɪ mər /

noun

an elementary book for teaching children to read.
any book of elementary principles: a primer of phonetics.

Origin of primer

1
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin prīmārium, noun use of neuter of prīmārius primary

Definition for primer (2 of 3)

primer

2
[ prahy-mer ]
/ ˈpraɪ mər /

noun

a person or thing that primes.
a cap, cylinder, etc., containing a compound that may be exploded by percussion or other means, used for firing a charge of powder.
a first coat or layer of paint, size, etc., given to any surface as a base, sealer, or the like.

Origin of primer

2
1490–1500; prime (v.) + -er1

Definition for primer (3 of 3)

Origin of prime

before 1000; 1910–15 for def 5; (adj.) Middle English (< Old French prim) < Latin prīmus first (superlative corresponding to prior prior1); (noun) in part derivative of the adj.; in part continuing Middle English prim(e) first canonical hour, Old English prim < Latin prīma (hōra) first (hour); (v.) apparently derivative of the adj.

SYNONYMS FOR prime

7 Prime, primeval, primitive have reference to that which is first. Prime means first in numerical order or order of development: prime meridian; prime cause. Primeval means belonging to the first or earliest ages: the primeval forest. Primitive suggests the characteristics of the origins or early stages of a development, and hence implies the simplicity of original things: primitive tribes, conditions, ornaments, customs, tools.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for primer

British Dictionary definitions for primer (1 of 3)

primer

1
/ (ˈpraɪmə) /

noun

an introductory text, such as a school textbook

Word Origin for primer

C14: via Anglo-Norman from Medieval Latin primārius (liber) a first (book), from Latin prīmārius primary

British Dictionary definitions for primer (2 of 3)

primer

2
/ (ˈpraɪmə) /

noun

a person or thing that primes
a device, such as a tube containing explosive, for detonating the main charge in a gun, mine, etc
a substance, such as paint, applied to a surface as a base, sealer, etc
Also called (for senses 2, 3): priming

Word Origin for primer

C15: see prime (vb)

British Dictionary definitions for primer (3 of 3)

prime

/ (praɪm) /

adjective

noun

verb

Derived Forms

primely, adverbprimeness, noun

Word Origin for prime

(adj) C14: from Latin prīmus first; (n) C13: from Latin prīma (hora) the first (hour); (vb) C16: of uncertain origin, probably connected with n
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

Idioms and Phrases with primer

prime


In addition to the idioms beginning with prime

  • prime mover
  • prime of life
  • prime the pump

also see:

  • 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.