First meaning

fûrst
Frequency:
The ordinal number matching the number one in a series.
noun
9
7
The winning position in a contest.

Finished the season in first.

noun
7
2
The beginning; the outset.

From the first; at first.

noun
6
3
The transmission gear or corresponding gear ratio used to produce the range of lowest drive speeds in a motor vehicle.
noun
4
2
Corresponding in order to the number one.
adjective
2
2
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(music) The voice or instrument highest in pitch or carrying the principal part.
noun
2
3
Before or above all others in time, order, rank, or importance.

Arrived first; forgot to light the oven first.

adverb
1
0
For the first time.
adverb
1
0
A first happening or thing of its kind.
noun
1
0
Occurring or acting before all others in time; earliest.

The first day of spring.

adjective
1
1
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Ranking above all others, as in importance or quality; foremost.

Was first in the class.

adjective
1
1
(music) Being highest in pitch or carrying the principal part.

First trumpet.

adjective
1
1
Of, related to, or being a member of the US president's household.

First daughter Sasha Obama.

adjective
1
1
Of, relating to, or being the transmission gear or corresponding gear ratio used to produce the range of lowest drive speeds in a motor vehicle.
adjective
1
2
Coming before all others in order or location.

The first house on your left.

adjective
1
3
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The definition of first is someone or something that happens or acts before any others.

An example of first is a first child, a child born before their siblings.

adjective
0
0
Rather; preferably.

Would die first.

adverb
0
0
In the first place; to begin with; firstly.
adverb
0
0
Preceding all others in a series; before any other; 1st.
adjective
0
0
Happening or acting before all others; earliest.
adjective
0
0
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Ranking before all others; foremost in rank, quality, importance, etc.; principal.
adjective
0
0
Designating the slowest forward gear ratio of a motor vehicle transmission; low.
adjective
0
0
(music) Playing or singing the leading part or the part highest in pitch.
adjective
0
0
As the first point; to begin with.
adverb
0
0
For the first time.
adverb
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0
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Sooner; preferably.
adverb
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0
With (a specified part) in the front or lead.

To plunge into a pool feet first.

adverb
0
0
That one before the second.
noun
0
0
Any person, thing, class, place, etc. that is first.
noun
0
0
The first day of a month.
noun
0
0
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The beginning; start.
noun
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0
The best quality of merchandise.
noun
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0
The winning place in a race or competition.
noun
0
0
The first gear of a motor vehicle transmission; low.
noun
0
0
noun
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0
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(music) The highest or leading voice or instrument in an ensemble.
noun
0
0
(Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams) Founded in 1990, FIRST coordinates the efforts of dozens of CERTs, mostly governmental, from around the world. See CERT.
0
0
Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest.

The first day of September 2013 was a Sunday. I was the first runner to reach the finish line, and won the race.

adjective
0
0
Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest.

Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.

adjective
0
0
Before anything else; firstly.

Clean the sink first, before you even think of starting to cook.

adverb
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0
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(uncountable) The person or thing in the first position.

He was the first to complete the course.

noun
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(uncountable) The first gear of an engine.
noun
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0
(countable) Something that has never happened before; a new occurrence.

This is a first. For once he has nothing to say.

noun
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0
(countable, baseball) First base.

There was a close play at first.

noun
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0
(countable, UK, colloquial) A first-class honours degree.
noun
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0
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(countable, colloquial) A first-edition copy of some publication.
noun
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0
A fraction of an integer ending in one.

One forty-first of the estate.

noun
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0
(obsolete) Time; time granted; respite.
noun
0
0
Of or pertaining to the executive of a particular nation or state.
adjective
0
0
The one coming, occurring, or ranking before or above all others.
noun
0
1
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first off
  • From the start; immediately:
    Why wasn't I told first off? When I get to work, I have to call my lawyer first thing.
idiom
0
0
first thing
  • as the first thing; before anything else
idiom
0
0
in the first place
  • firstly; to begin with
idiom
0
0

Other Word Forms

Adjective

Base Form:
first
Superlative
firstmost

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of first

  • Middle English from Old English fyrst per1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English first, furst, ferst, fyrst, from Old English fyrst, fyrest (“first, foremost, principal, chief, original”), from Proto-Germanic *furistaz (“foremost, first”), superlative of Proto-Germanic *fur, *fura, *furi (“before”), from Proto-Indo-European *per-, *pero- (“forward, beyond, around”), equivalent to fore +‎ -est. Cognate with North Frisian foarste (“first”), Dutch voorste (“foremost, first”), German Fürst (“chief, prince”, literally “first (born)”), Swedish första (“first”), Icelandic fyrstur (“first”).

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English first, furst, fyrst, from Old English fyrst, fierst, first (“period, space of time, time, respite, truce”), from Proto-Germanic *fristaz, *fristą (“date, appointed time”), from Proto-Indo-European *pres-, *per- (“forward, forth, over, beyond”). Cognate with North Frisian ferst, frest (“period, time”), German Frist (“period, deadline, term”), Swedish frist (“deadline, respite, reprieve, time-limit”), Icelandic frestur (“period”). See also frist.

    From Wiktionary