- An example of an adjective using prime is prime time, a television show on at 8pm.
- An example of an adjective using prime is prime seating, front row center seats at a concert.
- An example of an adjective using prime is prime aging, the best cut of beef.
- first in time; original; primitive; primary
- first in rank or authority; chief: the prime minister
- first in importance or value; principal; main: a prime advantage
- first in quality; of the highest excellence: prime beef
- from which others are derived; fundamental; basic
- of or being a prime number
- having no factor in common except 1: 9 and 16 are prime to each other
Origin of primeMiddle English ; from Middle French ; from Classical Latin primus, first ; from Old Latin pri, before ; from Indo-European base an unverified form per-, beyond from source far, first
- R.C.Ch. a part of the Divine Office orig. assigned to the first hour of daylight (in the Liturgy of the Hours, both Lauds and Prime have been replaced by Morning Prayer)
- the first hour of the daylight, conventionally taken to begin about 6
- the earliest part of something; beginning
- the springtime of life; youth
- the best, most vigorous, or most fully mature period or stage of a person or thing: a soprano in her prime
- the best part of anything
- the best of several or many; pick; cream
- a symbol () used
- to distinguish between different values of the same variable
- to distinguish a letter, number, or other character from another of the same kind, as A
- for certain units of measure, as feet or minutes of arc
- Math. prime number
- Music unison
Origin of primeME < OE prim < L prima (hora), first (hour): see primethe
- to make ready; prepare: a team primed for a game
- to prepare (a gun) for firing or (a charge) for exploding by providing with priming or a primer
- to get (a pump) into operation by pouring in water until the suction is established
- to get (a carburetor, etc.) into operation by adding extra fuel
- to undercoat, size, etc. (a surface) in preparation as for painting
- to provide (a person) beforehand with information, answers, etc.
- to prime a person or thing
- to let a spray of water mix with the steam forced into the cylinder, as of a steam engine
- First or highest in rank or importance; main: Our prime consideration is for the children's safety. See Synonyms at chief. See Usage Note at perfect.
- a. Highest in quality; excellent: prime real estate; prime cuts of beef.b. Being the most desired or suitable example of something: a prime candidate for the study.
- First or early in time, order, or sequence: the prime action of the drug.
- Mathematics Of, relating to, or being a prime number.
- a. The period of greatest physical and mental robustness: athletes in the prime of their lives.b. The period of best performance or peak activity: This car is definitely past its prime. See Synonyms at bloom1.
- Mathematics A prime number.
- The prime rate.
- A mark (&minute;) appended above and to the right of a character, especially:a. One used to distinguish different values of the same variable in a mathematical expression.b. One used to represent a unit of measurement, such as feet or minutes in latitude and longitude.
- also Prime Ecclesiastical a. The second of the seven canonical hours. No longer in liturgical use.b. The time appointed for this service, the first hour of the day or 6 AM.
- Linguistics See primitive.
- The first position of thrust and parry in fencing.
verbprimed primed, prim·ing, primes
- To make ready; prepare: guard dogs primed for attack.
- To prepare (a gun or mine) for firing by inserting a charge of gunpowder or a primer.
- To prepare for operation, as by pouring water into a pump or gasoline into a carburetor.
- To prepare (a surface) for painting by covering with size, primer, or an undercoat.
- To inform or instruct beforehand; coach.
Origin of primeMiddle English, first in occurrence, from Old French, feminine of prin, from Latin prīmus; see per1 in Indo-European roots. Noun, sense 5, from Middle English, from Old English prīm, from Late Latin prīma (hōra), first (hour), from Latin, feminine of prīmus.
- First in importance, degree, or rank.
- Our prime concern here is to keep the community safe.
- First in time, order, or sequence
- Both the English and French governments established prime meridians in their capitals.
- First in excellence, quality, or value.
- This is a prime location for a bookstore.
- (mathematics, lay) Having exactly two integral factors: itself and unity (1 in the case of integers).
- Thirteen is a prime number.
- (mathematics, technical) Such that if it divides a product, it divides one of the multiplicands.
- (mathematics) Having its complement closed under multiplication: said only of ideals.
- Marked or distinguished by the prime symbol.
- Early; blooming; being in the first stage.
- (Christianity, historical) One of the daily offices of prayer of the Western Church, associated with the early morning (typically 6 a.m.).
- (now rare) The earliest stage of something.
- The most active, thriving, or successful stage or period.
- The chief or best individual or part.
- (music) The first note or tone of a musical scale.
- (fencing) The first defensive position, with the sword hand held at head height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
- (algebra, number theory) A prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number.
- 3 is a prime.
- (card games) A four-card hand containing one card of each suit in the game of primero; the opposite of a flush in poker.
- (backgammon) Six consecutive blocks, which prevent the opponent's pieces from passing.
- I'm threatening to build a prime here.
- The symbol "²
- An inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system.
(third-person singular simple present primes, present participle priming, simple past and past participle primed)
- To prepare a mechanism for its main work.
- You'll have to press this button twice to prime the fuel pump.
- To apply a coat of primer paint to.
- I need to prime these handrails before we can apply the finish coat.
- (intransitive) To serve as priming for the charge of a gun.
- (intransitive, of a steam boiler) To work so that foaming occurs from too violent ebullition, which causes water to become mixed with, and be carried along with, the steam that is formed.
- To apply priming to (a musket or cannon); to apply a primer to (a metallic cartridge).
- To prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to coach.
- to prime a witness
- The boys are primed for mischief.
- (mathematics) To mark with a prime mark.
Origin uncertain; perhaps related to primage.