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Syllabification: first-de·gree

Definition of first-degree in English:


1 Medicine Denoting burns that affect only the surface of the skin and cause reddening.
Example sentences
  • The corpsman said that a small third-degree burn might be difficult to recognize if it is located in an area of second- or even first-degree burn skin damage.
  • Thin or superficial burns (also called first-degree burns) are red and painful.
  • Scarring from first-degree burns and light second-degree burns may disappear within a few months.
2 Law , chiefly North American Denoting the most serious category of a crime, especially murder.
Example sentences
  • He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
  • Pennsylvania was the first U.S. state to abolish capital punishment for all crimes except first-degree murder.
  • I decided to present this case through a Broward County grand jury and they indicted him for first-degree murder as an adult.


first-degree relative

A person’s parent, sibling, or child.
Example sentences
  • One of the three relatives is a first-degree relative of the other two, such as a parent, child or sibling
  • None of her other first-degree relatives had been affected by breast, ovarian or colon cancer, which greatly decreased the chances that she carried a gene mutation predisposing her to breast cancer.
  • Although anyone with first-degree relatives who have had breast cancer is at increased risk, most people don't get the inherited kind of breast cancer.

Definition of first-degree in:

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