[ prahy-ming ]
/ ˈpraɪ mɪŋ /


the powder or other material used to ignite a charge.
the act of a person or thing that primes.
material used as a primer, or a first coat or layer of paint, size, etc.

Nearby words

  1. primero,
  2. primers,
  3. primeval,
  4. primigravida,
  5. primine,
  6. primipara,
  7. primitive,
  8. primitive baptist,
  9. primitive cell,
  10. primitive church

Origin of priming

First recorded in 1590–1600; prime + -ing1

Related formsself-prim·ing, adjective

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.

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

Examples from the Web for priming

British Dictionary definitions for priming


/ (ˈpraɪmɪŋ) /


something used to prime
a substance, used to ignite an explosive charge


/ (praɪm) /




Derived Formsprimely, 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

Word Origin and History for priming
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with priming


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.