- Obs. at first; originally
- Archaic formerly
Origin of erstMiddle English erest from Old English ærest, superlative of ær: see ere
Origin of erstMiddle English erest from Old English ǣrest ; see ayer- in Indo-European roots.
- (obsolete) First.
From Middle English erste, from Old English ǣresta (“first”), from Proto-Germanic *airistaz (“earliest, first”), equivalent to ere + -est. Cognate with North Frisian eerst, ærst (“first”), West Frisian earst (“first”), Dutch eerste (“first”), German erste (“first”).