# Definify.com

## Webster 1913 Edition

## Prime

## Prime

,Adj.

1.

First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.

“*Prime*forests.”

Tennyson.

She was not the

prime

cause, but I myself. Milton.

☞ In this sense the word is nearly superseded by

*primitive*, except in the phrase*prime cost*.2.

First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance;

“as,

. prime

minister*Prime*virtues.”

Dryden.

3.

First in excellence; of highest quality;

as,

prime

wheat; a prime

quality of cloth.4.

Early; blooming; being in the first stage.

[Poetic]

His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him

In manhood where youth ended.

prime

In manhood where youth ended.

Milton.

5.

Lecherous; lustful; lewd.

[Obs.]

Shak.

6.

Marked or distinguished by a mark (´) called a

*prime mark*. In this dictionary the same typographic mark is used to indicate a weak accent in headwords, and minutes of a degree in angle measurements.

**Prime and ultimate ratio**

(Math.)

. See

– Ultimate

. **Prime conductor**

(Elec.)

See under

– Conductor

. **Prime factor**

(Arith.)

, a factor which is a prime number.

– **Prime figure**

(Geom.)

, a figure which can not be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, etc.

– **Prime meridian**

(Astron.)

, the meridian from which longitude is reckoned, as the meridian of Greenwich or Washington.

– **Prime minister**

the responsible head of a ministry or executive government; applied particularly to that of England.

– **Prime mover**

(Mech.)

(a)

A natural agency applied by man to the production of power. Especially: Muscular force; the weight and motion of fluids, as water and air; heat obtained by chemical combination, and applied to produce changes in the volume and pressure of steam, air, or other fluids; and electricity, obtained by chemical action, and applied to produce alternation of magnetic force.

(b)

An engine, or machine, the object of which is to receive and modify force and motion as supplied by some natural source, and apply them to drive other machines; as a water wheel, a water-pressure engine, a steam engine, a hot-air engine, etc.

(c)

Fig.: The original or the most effective force in any undertaking or work;

– as, Clarkson was the

. prime

mover in English antislavery agitation**Prime number**

(Arith.)

, a number which is exactly divisible by no number except itself or unity, as 5, 7, 11.

– **Prime vertical**

(Astron.)

, the vertical circle which passes through the east and west points of the horizon.

– **Prime-vertical dial**

a dial in which the shadow is projected on the plane of the prime vertical.

– **Prime-vertical transit instrument**

a transit instrument the telescope of which revolves in the plane of the prime vertical, – used for observing the transit of stars over this circle.

## Prime

,Noun.

1.

The first part; the earliest stage; the beginning or opening, as of the day, the year, etc.; hence, the dawn; the spring.

Chaucer.

In the very

prime

of the world. Hooker.

Hope waits upon the flowery

prime

. Waller.

2.

The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength, or beauty; perfection.

“Cut off in their *prime*.”

Eustace.

“The *prime*of youth.”

Dryden.

3.

That which is first in quantity; the most excellent portion; the best part.

Give him always of the

prime

. Swift.

4.

The morning; specifically

(R. C. Ch.)

, the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds. Early and late it rung, at evening and at

prime

. Spenser.

☞ Originally,

*prime*denoted the first quarter of the artificial day, reckoned from 6a. m.

to 6 p. m.

Afterwards, it denoted the end of the first quarter, that is, 9 a. m.

Specifically, it denoted the first canonical hour, as now. Chaucer uses it in all these senses, and also in the sense of def. 1, above. They sleep till that it was

pryme

large. Chaucer.

5.

(Fencing)

The first of the chief guards.

6.

(Chem.)

Any number expressing the combining weight or equivalent of any particular element; – so called because these numbers were respectively reduced to their lowest relative terms on the fixed standard of hydrogen as 1.

[Obs. or Archaic]

8.

An inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system; – denoted by [´]. See 2d , 1.

Inch

, Noun.

**Prime of the moon**

the new moon at its first appearance.

1.

To apply priming to, as a musket or a cannon; to apply a primer to, as a metallic cartridge.

2.

To lay the first color, coating, or preparation upon (a surface), as in painting;

as, to

. prime

a canvas, a wall3.

To prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to post; to coach;

as, to

prime

a witness; the boys are primed

for mischief. [Colloq.]

Thackeray.

4.

To trim or prune, as trees.

[Obs. or Prov. Eng.]

5.

(Math.)

To mark with a prime mark.

**To prime a pump**

to charge a pump with water, in order to put it in working condition.

## Prime

,Verb.

I.

1.

To be renewed, or as at first.

[Obs.]

Night’s bashful empress, though she often wane,

As oft repeats her darkness,

As oft repeats her darkness,

primes

again. Quarles.

2.

To serve as priming for the charge of a gun.

3.

To work so that foaming occurs from too violent ebullition, which causes water to become mixed with, and be carried along with, the steam that is formed; – said of a steam boiler.

## Webster 1828 Edition

## Prime

## PRIME

,Adj.

1.

First in order of time; original; as prime fathers; prime creation.In this sense, the use of the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase, prime cost.

2.

First in rank, degree or dignity; as prime minister.3.

First in excellence; as prime wheat; cloth of a prime quality. Humility and resignation are prime virtues.4.

Early; blooming. His starry helm unbuckl'd, showed him prime

In manhood, where youth ended.

5.

First in value or importance.Prime number, in arithmetic, a number which is divisible only by unity, as 5.7.ll.

Prime figure, in geometry, a figure which cannot be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, &c.

## PRIME

,Noun.

Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime.

The sweet hour of prime.

1.

The beginning; the early days. In the very prime of the world.

2.

The spring of the year. Hope waits upon the flower prime.

3.

The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength or beauty. That crop the golden prime of this sweet prince.

The prime of youth.

4.

The best part. Give him always of the prime.

5.

The utmost perfection. The plants--would have been all in prime.

6.

In the Romish church,the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds.7.

In fencing, the first of the chief guards.8.

In chimistry, primes are numbers employed, in conformity with the doctrine of definite proportions, to express the ratios in which bodies enter into combination. Primes duly arranged in a table, constitute a scale of chimical equivalents. They also express the ratios of the weights of atoms, according to the atomic theory.Prime of the moon, the new moon, when it first appears after the change.

vertical, the vertical circle which passes through the poles of the meridian, or the east and west points of the horizon. Dials projected on the plane of this circle, are called prime vertical or north and south dials.

## PRIME

,Verb.

T.

1.

To lay on the first color in painting.## PRIME

,Verb.

I.