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Dictionary


first



Pronunciation: (fûrst), [key]
adj.
1. being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, etc., used as the ordinal number of one: the first edition; the first vice president.
2. Music.highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class: first alto; first horn.
3. Auto.low (def. 31).
4. first thing, before anything else; at once; promptly: I'll call you first thing when I arrive.

adv.
1. before all others or anything else in time, order, rank, etc.
2. before some other thing, event, etc.: If you're going, phone first.
3. for the first time: She first visited Atlanta in 1980.
4. in preference to something else; rather; sooner: I'd die first.
5. in the first place; firstly.
6. first and last, everything considered; above all else; altogether: First and last, it is important to know oneself.
7. first off, Informal.at the outset; immediately: He wanted to know first off why he hadn't been notified.

n.
1. the person or thing that is first in time, order, rank, etc.
2. the beginning.
3. the first part; first member of a series.
4. Music.
a. the voice or instrument that takes the highest or chief part in its class, esp. in an orchestra or chorus.
b. a leader of a part or group of performers.
5. Auto.low gear; first gear: She shifted into first and drove off.
6. the winning position or rank in a race or other competition.
7. Baseball.See first base.
8. Usually, firsts. Com.
a. a product or goods of the first or highest quality.
b. goods produced according to specifications, without visible flaws. Cf. second1 (def. 23), third (def. 12).
9. Brit. Univ.
a. first-class honors. Cf. class (def. 18).
b. a person who has won such honors.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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