English dictionary

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English adjective: first

1. first preceding all others in time or space or degree

SamplesThe first house on the right.
The first day of spring.
His first political race.
Her first baby.
The first time.
The first meetings of the new party.
The first phase of his training.

Similararchetypal, archetypical, basic, eldest, first-year, firstborn, freshman, initial, introductory, original, premier, premier, premiere, prime, prime, prototypal, prototypic, prototypical

See alsoearly, front, original, primary


2. first indicating the beginning unit in a series




3. first serving to set in motion

SamplesThe magazine's inaugural issue.
The initiative phase in the negotiations.
An initiatory step toward a treaty.
His first (or maiden) speech in Congress.
The liner's maiden voyage.

Synonymsinaugural, initiative, initiatory, maiden



4. first serving to begin

SamplesThe beginning canto of the poem.
The first verse.




5. first ranking above all others

SamplesWas first in her class.
The foremost figure among marine artists.
The top graduate.

Synonymsforemost, world-class



6. first highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections

SamplesFirst soprano.
The first violin section.
Played first horn.

Domain categorymusic


English noun: first

1. first the first or highest in an ordering or series

SamplesHe wanted to be the first.

Synonymsnumber one

Broader (hypernym)rank

Narrower (hyponym)former

2. first (quantity) the first element in a countable series

SamplesThe first of the month.

Synonymsnumber 1, number one

Broader (hypernym)no., ordinal, ordinal number

3. first (time) the time at which something is supposed to begin

SamplesThey got an early start.
She knew from the get-go that he was the man for her.

Synonymsbeginning, commencement, get-go, kickoff, offset, outset, showtime, start, starting time

Broader (hypernym)point, point in time

Narrower (hyponym)birth, incipience, incipiency, starting point, terminus a quo, threshold

Antonymsend, ending, middle

4. first (act) the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first of the bases in the infield (counting counterclockwise from home plate)

Synonymsfirst base

Broader (hypernym)position

Member meronymbaseball team

5. first (communication) an honours degree of the highest class

Synonymsfirst-class honours degree

Broader (hypernym)honours, honours degree

Narrower (hyponym)double first

Domain regionBritain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

6. first (artifact) the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving

Synonymsfirst gear, low, low gear

Broader (hypernym)gear, gear mechanism

Part meronymauto, automobile, car, machine, motorcar

English adverb: first

1. first before anything else

SamplesFirst we must consider the garter snake.

Synonymsfirst of all, first off, firstly, foremost

2. first the initial time

SamplesWhen Felix first saw a garter snake.

Synonymsfor the first time

3. first before another in time, space, or importance

SamplesI was here first.
Let's do this job first.

4. first prominently forward

SamplesHe put his best foot foremost.


Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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