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☞ In this sense the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase prime cost.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;
“Prime virtues.” as,
. prime
ministerDryden.
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 waterpressure engine, a steam engine, a hotair 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 agitationPrime 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.
– Primevertical dial
, a dial in which the shadow is projected on the plane of the prime vertical.
– Primevertical 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 6
a. 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 plantswould 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.
Definition 2023
prime
prime
See also: primé
English
Pronunciation
 enPR: prīm, IPA^{(key)}: /pɹaɪ̯m/
 Rhymes: aɪm
Adjective
prime (not comparable)
 First in importance, degree, or rank.
 Our prime concern here is to keep the community safe.
 First in time, order, or sequence.
 Both the English and French governments established prime meridians in their capitals.
 Tennyson
 prime forests
 Milton
 She was not the prime cause, but I myself.
 First in excellence, quality, or value.
 This is a prime location for a bookstore.
 Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
 'Is it very pleasant to be there, Bob?'
'Prime,' said the turnkey.
 'Is it very pleasant to be there, Bob?'
 (mathematics, lay) Having exactly two integral factors: itself and unity (1 in the case of integers).
 Thirteen is a prime number.
 (mathematics, technical) Such that if it divides a product, it divides one of the multiplicands.
 (mathematics) Having its complement closed under multiplication: said only of ideals.
 Marked or distinguished by the prime symbol.
 Early; blooming; being in the first stage.
 Milton
 His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him prime / In manhood where youth ended.
 Milton
 (obsolete) Lecherous; lustful; lewd.
 Shakespeare (Othello [III.iii 4025])
 It is impossible you should see this, / Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, / As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross / As ignorance made drunk.
 Shakespeare (Othello [III.iii 4025])
Synonyms
 (first in importance, degree, or rank): greatest, most important, main, primary, principal, top
 (first in excellence, quality, or value): excellent, top quality
 (first in time, order, or sequence): earliest, first, original
 (having no nontrivial factors): indivisible
 (dividing a factor of any product it divides):
 ((of an ideal) having its complement closed multiplicatively):
Derived terms
 (having exactly two integral factors): coprime
Related terms
Translations
first in time, order, or sequence

first in excellence, quality, or value


mathematics: having no factors except itself and unity
first in importance, degree, or rank

mathematics: having its complement closed under multiplication
Noun
prime (plural primes)
 (Christianity, historical) One of the daily offices of prayer of the Western Church, associated with the early morning (typically 6 a.m.).
 Spenser
 Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime.
 Spenser
 (obsolete) The early morning.
 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vi:
 They all as glad, as birdes of ioyous Prime […]
 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vi:
 (now rare) The earliest stage of something.
 Hooker
 in the very prime of the world
 Waller
 Hope waits upon the flowery prime.
 Hooker
 The most active, thriving, or successful stage or period.
 Eustace
 cut off in their prime
 Dryden
 the prime of youth
 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the title of the work):
 And it’s daunting because each segment has to tell a full, complete story in something like six minutes while doing justice to revered source material and including the nonstop laughs and genius gags that characterized The Simpsons in its godlike prime.
 1965, Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone
 Once upon a time you dressed so fine. You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
 Eustace
 The chief or best individual or part.
 Jonathan Swift
 Give him always of the prime.
 Jonathan Swift
 (music) The first note or tone of a musical scale.
 (fencing) The first defensive position, with the sword hand held at head height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
 (algebra, number theory) A prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number.
 2013 JulyAugust, Sarah Glaz, “Ode to Prime Numbers”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
 Some poems, echoing the purpose of early poetic treatises on scientific principles, attempt to elucidate the mathematical concepts that underlie prime numbers. Others play with primes’ cultural associations. Still others derive their structure from mathematical patterns involving primes.
 3 is a prime.

 (card games) A fourcard hand containing one card of each suit in the game of primero; the opposite of a flush in poker.
 (backgammon) Six consecutive blocks, which prevent the opponent's pieces from passing.
 I'm threatening to build a prime here.
 The symbol ′
 (chemistry, obsolete) 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.
 An inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system.
Synonyms
 (most active, thriving, or successful stage or period): bloom, blossom, efflorescence, flower, flush, heyday, peak
 (chief or best individual or part): choice, prize, quality, select
 (algebra: prime element of a mathematical structure): prime number (when an integer)
Antonyms
 (algebra: prime element of a mathematical structure): composite
Hyponyms
(number theory) Prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number




Derived terms
Related terms
Translations
earliest stage
most active, thriving, or successful stage or period
chief or best individual or part
music: first note or tone of a musical scale
fencing: first position of thrust and parry
algebra: prime element of a mathematical structure

Etymology 2
Origin uncertain; perhaps related to primage.
Pronunciation
 enPR: prīm, IPA^{(key)}: /pɹaɪ̯m/
 Rhymes: aɪm
Verb
prime (thirdperson singular simple present primes, present participle priming, simple past and past participle primed)
 (transitive) To prepare a mechanism for its main work.
 You'll have to press this button twice to prime the fuel pump.
 (transitive) To apply a coat of primer paint to.
 I need to prime these handrails before we can apply the finish coat.
 (obsolete, intransitive) To be renewed.
 Quarles
 Night's bashful empress, though she often wane, / As oft repeats her darkness, primes again.
 Quarles
 (intransitive) To serve as priming for the charge of a gun.
 (intransitive, of a steam boiler) 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.
 To apply priming to (a musket or cannon); to apply a primer to (a metallic cartridge).
 To prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to coach.
 to prime a witness
 The boys are primed for mischief.
 (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)
 (Britain, dialect, obsolete) To trim or prune.
 to prime trees
 (mathematics) To mark with a prime mark.
Synonyms
Translations
to prepare a mechanism
to apply a coat of primer paint to
Derived terms
Related terms
See also
Etymology 3
From French prime (“reward, prize, bonus”).
Pronunciation
 IPA^{(key)}: /pɹiːm/
 Rhymes: iːm
Noun
prime (plural primes)
 (cycling) An intermediate sprint within a race, usually offering a prize and/or points.
 1997 Arnie Baker, Smart Cycling: Successful Training and Racing for Riders of All Levels
 Most primes are won with gaps on the field; most sprints are in bunches.
 1997 Arnie Baker, Smart Cycling: Successful Training and Racing for Riders of All Levels
French
Etymology
From the feminine of Old French prim, prin, from Latin prīmus, from earlier prīsmos < *prīsemos < ProtoItalic *priisemos.
Pronunciation
Noun
prime f (plural primes)
Anagrams
Latin
Numeral
prīme
 vocative masculine singular of prīmus
References
 prime in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
 Félix Gaffiot (1934), “prime”, in Dictionnaire Illustré LatinFrançais, Paris: Hachette.
Romanian
Pronunciation
 IPA^{(key)}: [ˈpri.me]
Adjective
prime
 feminine plural nominative form of prim
 feminine plural accusative form of prim
 neuter plural nominative form of prim
 neuter plural accusative form of prim