Definition of first in English:
- The set features songs from their first five albums when they were at the height of their creative powers.
- Officers were able to use the new order on the first day it was implemented.
- Aside from switching the order of the first question, this year was no exception.
- This is claimed to be the first exhibition ever to show how the self-portrait developed.
- The BBC is set to launch its first ever sports news programme dedicated to children.
- The display of works on paper is the first ever loan exhibition organised by Kettle's Yard.
- As soon as I said that a dark figure crashed into the window and fell head first on the floor.
- Down she fell head first onto the floor.
- He opened the door to be greeted by Diana falling head first to the ground.
- Less well known has been his quiet role as vice chairman of Space Adventures, which includes some notable firsts.
- Bradford has scored a couple of notable firsts, thanks to the efforts of the Bradford Metropolitan Recreation Department, by launching two projects to keep the citizens of Bradford slim and trim.
- York City's 4-1 FA Cup triumph over Radcliffe Borough last Sunday marked a number of notable firsts for the Minstermen.
- It was in 1988, my first year in the first grade, and the Blacks used to come on a full tour.
- My parents sent me to sleep away schools since the time I was in first grade.
- Leah was six and also in first grade, but her gift was in mathematics, and she was at a fifth grade level.
- He was finding out what modern first editions are making at auction these days.
- For the most part, however, the structure of this edition will be familiar to readers of the first.
- This one only came in late on Monday night and has prompted this short first edition.
- The quality of life has got to come first above creating ugly urban sprawl.
- At the end of the day, everybody's got family and they do have to come first.
- My feeling about this statement has always been that it's a shame, but people come first.
- Inbound tourist operators are the first to admit their jobs are the cream of the crop.
- I'd be the first to admit that networking has been the key to my success in any job or role I've ever had.
- Fiona is the first to admit that she is impatient when it comes to her home.
- He's also timed it so that he's going out as the first finishers in the race are coming in.
- The three disciplines are run back-to-back and the winner is the first athlete to finish.
- It was so refreshing to hear Latka explain how he had raced from 28th to first and won.
- I looked up at one point in the middle of the second act, to see something strange going on in the first violins.
- Gradually a permanent nucleus was formed comprising the essential elements of an Orchestra - firsts and seconds, alto, tenor and bass parts, guitar, bayan, piano and percussion.
The Old English word first goes back to an ancient root which is shared by Latin primus (as in prime), and Greek prōtos (as in protein (mid 19th century) and prototype (mid 16th century)). The expression first come, first served goes back to the Middle Ages and is found in the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. It was originally used in the context of milling, when a mill would serve the whole community. The first person to bring their corn to the mill would be the first person to have it ground. The first among equals is the member of a group that has the highest status. It is a translation of the Latin phrase primus inter pares, which was used as a title by Roman emperors. Many will know it today as the title of a Jeffrey Archer novel published in 1984. In Scotland to first-foot (early 19th century) is to be the first person to cross the threshold of a house in the New Year. Traditionally, it is thought lucky for that person to be a dark-haired man.
- At the beginning; in the initial stage or stages: at first Hugh tried to be patientMore example sentences
- It can be a bit daunting at first but once they get started and have a go they really enjoy it and learn quickly.
- He seemed a bit nervous at first but soon settled and gave his usual comic performance.
- You do have to be a bit of a contortionist at first to engage gear, but it is a sportsbike after all.
at first glance
- see glance1.
at first hand
- see firsthand.
at first instance
- see instance.
at first sight
- see sight.
(the) first among equals
- see equal.
- see blood.
first come, first served
- Used to indicate that people will be dealt with in the order in which they arrive or apply: tickets are available on a first come, first served basisMore example sentences
- Season ticket holders who wish to sit in this stand must first get a free transfer ticket from the ticket office at least two days before the game and it is strictly first come, first served.
- Postcards can't be reserved or paid for in advance, they are allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis on the sale days only.
- And how are the lists ordered: on the basis of first come, first served?
first and foremost
- Most importantly; more than anything else: I’m first and foremost a writerMore example sentences
- Since then he has never looked back although he does consider himself to be a Carlow man first and foremost.
- Like everything else Shaker, things had, first and foremost, to be practical.
- Cathedrals are, first and foremost, places of worship and are recognised as places of great beauty.
first and last
- Fundamentally; on the whole: museums are first and last about curatorshipMore example sentences
- Feminism's a socialist movement, first and last.
- I am, first and last and always, concerned about the welfare of people, all kinds of people.
- There is little point in wallowing in the brilliance of Bacon if you don't recognise him as a moralist first and last.
first of all
- Before doing anything else; at the beginning: first of all, let me ask you somethingMore example sentences
- Her Honour Justice Branson first of all basically agrees with his Honour Justice Wilcox.
- I should ask first of all if he wishes to say anything in response to those submissions?
- What was the principal difficulty there about delay, first of all in the Sergeant's case?
- 11.1Most importantly: German unity depends first of all on the German peopleMore example sentences
- The advancement of science depends, first of all, on the free flow of information.
- And the importance of history is first of all it tells you the way the world was.
- Really, to keep them in optimum state, it is important that they be maintained first of all.
- informal , chiefly North American As a first point; first of all: first off, I owe you a heck of an apologyMore example sentences
- Well, first off, we've got to talk about a couple of different things.
- They were dying to know what it was going to look like, first off.
- Well, first off, you went and bought the book which is a first step.
first past the post
- (Of a contestant, especially a horse, in a race) winning a race by being the first to reach the finish line.Example sentences
- Esha Ness, ridden by John White and trained by Jenny Pitman, was the first past the post but the race was later declared void.
- Local Claremorris man Finbar Donnellan also had a share in a horse that was first past the post in one of Wednesday's races.
- Boxed in on the final corner by his rivals, he had to pull out all the stops up Cheltenham's notoriously unforgiving hill to ensure that he was first past the post.
- [attributive] British 13.1 Denoting an electoral system in which a candidate or party is selected by achievement of a simple majority: our first-past-the-post electoral systemMore example sentences
- Secondly, making an electoral breakthrough in a first past the post electoral system remains tough.
- The first past the post system always unfairly rewards the largest parties, but the results become particularly arbitrary when their share of the vote is relatively small.
- The first past the post system won't deliver that.
- Early in the morning; before anything else: I have to meet Josh first thing tomorrowMore example sentences
- They had the chance to do that either on Friday night or first thing in the morning before we were to set out.
- He gets fed first thing in the morning before I go to work and again when I get home.
- I know that the first thing in the morning I'll be wandering into work on my day off to find it.
first things first
- Used to assert that important matters should be dealt with before other things.Example sentences
- Let's deal with first things first, and the thing that's getting the most attention is the headline grabber.
- We'll talk a lot about the book and your extraordinary story, but let's first deal with first things first.
- A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing which things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.
from the (very) first
- From the beginning or the early stages: he should have realized it from the firstMore example sentences
- It is true to say that, from the first, the country's attitude to Europe has been ambivalent.
- No wonder I'd felt connected to Antonio from the very first.
- Siegfried, his head grader driver, ran one crew while Steve, who'd been with him from the very first, oversaw the other.
from first to last
- From beginning to end; throughout: it’s a fine performance that commands attention from first to lastMore example sentences
- By contrast, Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved commands our aesthetic and political attention from first to last.
- Clyde were totally dominant from first to last in a game Celtic fans must have been begging to end.
- Playing three groups ahead of the leaders and experiencing the same difficult conditions, Olazabal was quite something, his putting breathtaking from first to last.
get to first base
- see base1.
in the first place
- As the first consideration or point: political reality was not quite that simple—in the first place, divisions existed within the partiesMore example sentences
- None of the new measures seem to consider addressing the main cause of the problem in the first place.
- He refers to one recent study which considers the reasons why bloggers blog in the first place.
- To answer this we must consider whether Doris's acceptance is valid in the first place.
- 19.1At the beginning; to begin with (especially in reference to the time when an action was being planned or discussed): I should have told you in the first placeMore example sentences
- What makes me feel so really stupid is how I actually managed to begin smoking in the first place.
- By the way, why do you feel the need to mention the fact that you carry a knife in the first place?
- Sadly, it also gave me the chance to remember why we had lost touch in the first place.
of the first order (or magnitude)
- Used to denote something that is excellent or considerable of its kind: it is a media event of the first orderMore example sentences
of the utmost importance, of the greatest significance, very important, of great consequenceformal of great moment
- However, the overall campaign was a disaster of the first order.
- It was a disaster of the first order, but Daun was still wary of the ever-aggressive Frederick, with reason.
- Sarris calls the film ‘a masterpiece of the first order.’
of the first water
- see water.
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