Hypertext Webster Gateway: "first"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

First \First\, a. [OE. first, furst, AS. fyrst; akin to Icel.
fyrstr, Sw. & Dan. f["o]rste, OHG. furist, G. f["u]rst
prince; a superlatiye form of E. for, fore. See {For},
{Fore}, and cf. {Formeer}, {Foremost}.]
1. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of
one; earliest; as, the first day of a month; the first
year of a reign.

2. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.

3. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest;
as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.

{At first blush}. See under {Blush}.

{At first hand}, from the first or original source; without
the intervention of any agent.

It is the intention of the person to reveal it at
first hand, by way of mouth, to yourself. --Dickens.

{First coat} (Plastering), the solid foundation of coarse
stuff, on which the rest is placed; it is thick, and
crossed with lines, so as to give a bond for the next

{First day}, Sunday; -- so called by the Friends.

{First floor}.
(a) The ground floor. [U.S.]
(b) The floor next above the ground floor. [Eng.]

{First} {fruit or fruits}.
(a) The fruits of the season earliest gathered.
(b) (Feudal Law) One year's profits of lands belonging to
the king on the death of a tenant who held directly
from him.
(c) (Eng. Eccl. Law) The first year's whole profits of a
benefice or spiritual living.
(d) The earliest effects or results.

See, Father, what first fruits on earth are
sprung From thy implanted grace in man!

{First mate}, an officer in a merchant vessel next in rank to
the captain.

{First name}, same as {Christian name}. See under {Name}, n.

{First officer} (Naut.), in the merchant service, same as
{First mate} (above).

{First sergeant} (Mil.), the ranking non-commissioned officer
in a company; the orderly sergeant. --Farrow.

{First watch} (Naut.), the watch from eight to twelve at
midnight; also, the men on duty during that time.

{First water}, the highest quality or purest luster; -- said
of gems, especially of diamond and pearls.

Syn: Primary; primordial; primitive; primeval; pristine;
highest; chief; principal; foremost.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

First \First\, adv.
Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.;
-- much used in composition with adjectives and participles.

Adam was first formed, then Eve. --1 Tim. ii.

{At first}, {At the first}, at the beginning or origin.

{First or last}, at one time or another; at the beginning or

And all are fools and lovers first or last.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

First \First\, n. (Mus.)
The upper part of a duet, trio, etc., either vocal or
instrumental; -- so called because it generally expresses the
air, and has a pre["e]minence in the combined effect.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: preceding all others in time or space or degree; "the first
house on the right"; "the first day of spring"; "his
first political race"; "her first baby"; "the first
time"; "the first meetings of the new party"; "the
first phase of his training" [ant: {last}, {intermediate}]
2: indicating the beginning unit in a series [syn: {1st}]
3: serving to set in motion; "the magazine's inaugural issue";
"the initiative phase in the negotiations"; "an initiatory
step toward a treaty"; "his first (or maiden) speech in
Congress"; "the liner's maiden voyage" [syn: {inaugural},
{initiative}, {initiatory}, {maiden}]
4: serving to begin; "the beginning canto of the poem"; "the
first verse" [syn: {beginning(a)}]
5: ranking above all others; "was first in her class"; "the
foremost figure among marine artists"; "the top graduate"
[syn: {foremost}, {top(a)}]
6: (music) highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or
instruments or orchestra sections; "first soprano"; "the
first violin section"; "played first horn" [ant: {second}]
7: being the gear producing the lowest drive speed; "use first
gear on steep hills" [syn: {low}]
n 1: the first or highest in an ordering or series: "He wanted to
be the first" [syn: {number one}]
2: the first element in a countable series; "the first of the
month" [syn: {number one}, {number 1}]
3: the time at which something begins; "They got an early
start" [syn: {beginning}, {commencement}, {outset}, {start},
{kickoff}, {starting time}, {offset}] [ant: {middle}, {end}]
4: the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who
is stationed at first base [syn: {first base}]
5: (Great Britain) an honours degree of the highest class [syn:
{first-class honours degree}]
6: the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor
vehicle; used to start a car moving [syn: {first gear}, {low
gear}, {low}]
adv 1: before anything else; "first we must consider the garter
snake" [syn: {firstly}, {foremost}, {first of all}, {first
2: the initial time; "when Felix first saw a garter snake"
[syn: {for the first time}]
3: before another in time, space, or importance; "I was here
first"; "let's do this job first"
4: prominently forward; "he put his best foot foremost" [syn: {foremost}]

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