Definition of prim in English:

prim

Line breaks: prim
Pronunciation: /prɪm
 
/

adjective (primmer, primmest)

Feeling or showing disapproval of anything regarded as improper; stiffly correct: a very prim and proper lady
More example sentences
  • She had the look of a prim and proper lady of the Victorian times, with her well tended hair, all neatly tied in a bun, and simple, ankle length dress.
  • There was no prim and proper lady to be seen near the Great Hall, for they had no great mind to walk outside whilst it was raining.
  • Thus is the tone set early on, and it's decidedly at odds with our notions today of the prim and proper Victorians.
Synonyms

verb (prims, primming, primmed)

[with object] Back to top  
Purse (the mouth or lips) into a prim expression: Laurie primmed up his mouth
More example sentences
  • "Really, Mr. North," she primmed her mouth to its most school teacherish, "I wish you would go".
  • Though she primmed her mouth at him, a dimple betrayed her.

Origin

late 17th century (as a verb): probably ultimately from Old French prin, Provençal prim 'excellent, delicate', from Latin primus 'first'.

Derivatives

primly

adverb
More example sentences
  • He has also written the accompanying catalogue, which reveals that these men who gave us some of the most poetic and placid paintings, which often seem to be so very primly composed, led turbulent lives.
  • So I kick off my shoes, tuck one foot under me, but remain primly upright, notebook and pen poised.
  • I dropped the curling iron onto the counter, finally satisfied with the ringlets that fell primly about my shoulders, and listlessly studied my reflection.

primness

noun
More example sentences
  • Yes, there's a clean-line primness to the design, evoking a corporate-committee-don't-offend style that won't match the aesthetics of some.
  • Dinner was seriously good, but far from solemn, with none of that hushed primness that spoils many smart country restaurants.
  • With that maddening primness of speech, he said, ‘You will not always have the luxury of addressing your targets without distraction, Joyce.’

Definition of prim in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day antebellum
Pronunciation: ˌantɪˈbɛləm
adjective
occurring or existing before a particular war…