prime

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 [ˈpraɪm]



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
prime /praɪm/USA pronunciation   adj., n., v.,  primed, prim•ing. 
adj. 
  1. of the first importance:a prime requisite.
  2. of the greatest significance;
    very typical:a prime example of how he cheats.
  3. of the greatest commercial value:They bought some prime building lots.
  4. first-rate.
  5. Food(of meat) of the highest grade or best quality:prime ribs of beef.
  6. first in order of time, existence, or development:God, the prime mover.
  7. basic;
    fundamental:a prime axiom.

n. [countable;  singular]
  1. the most flourishing stage or state:an athlete in his prime.
  2. Developmental Biologythe time of early manhood or womanhood:the prime of youth.
  3. the choicest or best part of anything.
  4. Banking, Businessprime rate.
  5. Mathematics. prime number.

v. [+ object]
  1. to prepare for a particular purpose, as by supplying (someone or oneself) with information, etc.:He primed himself for the meeting by reviewing his figures.
  2. to supply (a firearm) with powder for igniting a charge.
  3. Hydraulicsto pour or admit liquid into (a pump) so as to push out air and prepare for action.
  4. Automotiveto put fuel into (a carburetor) before starting an engine.
  5. to cover (a surface) with an undercoat of paint or the like:to prime a wall before painting it.
Idioms
  1. Idiomsprime the pump: 
    • to increase government spending to stimulate the economy.
    • to support the operation or improvement of something.

See -prim-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
prime  (prīm),USA pronunciation adj., n., v.,  primed, prim•ing. 
adj. 
  1. of the first importance;
    demanding the fullest consideration:a prime requisite.
  2. of the greatest relevance or significance:a prime example.
  3. of the highest eminence or rank:the prime authority on Chaucer.
  4. of the greatest commercial value:prime building lots.
  5. first-rate:This ale is prime!
  6. (of meat, esp. of beef ) noting or pertaining to the first grade or best quality:prime ribs of beef.
  7. first in order of time, existence, or development;
    earliest;
    primitive.
  8. basic;
    fundamental:the prime axioms of his philosophy.
  9. Mathematics(of any two or more numbers) having no common divisor except unity:The number 2 is prime to 9.

n. 
  1. the most flourishing stage or state.
  2. Developmental Biologythe time of early manhood or womanhood:the prime of youth.
  3. the period or state of greatest perfection or vigor of human life:a man in his prime.
  4. the choicest or best part of anything.
  5. (esp. in the grading of U.S. beef ) a grade, classification, or designation indicating the highest or most desirable quality.
  6. the beginning or earliest stage of any period.
  7. the spring of the year.
  8. the first hour or period of the day, after sunrise.
  9. Banking, BusinessSee  prime rate. 
  10. Religion[Eccles.]the second of the seven canonical hours or the service for it, originally fixed for the first hour of the day.
  11. Mathematics
    • See  prime number. 
    • one of the equal parts into which a unit is primarily divided.
    • the mark (′) indicating such a division:a, a′.
  12. Sport[Fencing.]the first of eight defensive positions.
  13. Music and Dance
    • unison (def. 2).
    • (in a scale) the tonic or keynote.
  14. Linguisticsany basic, indivisible unit used in linguistic analysis.
  15. Metallurgya piece of tin plate free from visible defects.

v.t. 
  1. to prepare or make ready for a particular purpose or operation.
  2. to supply (a firearm) with powder for communicating fire to a charge.
  3. to lay a train of powder to (a charge, mine, etc.).
  4. Hydraulicsto pour or admit liquid into (a pump) to expel air and prepare for action.
  5. Automotiveto put fuel into (a carburetor) before starting an engine, in order to insure a sufficiently rich mixture at the start.
  6. to cover (a surface) with a preparatory coat or color, as in painting.
  7. to supply or equip with information, words, etc., for use:The politician was primed by his aides for the press conference.
  8. to harvest the bottom leaves from (a tobacco plant).

v.i. 
  1. Thermodynamics(of a boiler) to deliver or discharge steam containing an excessive amount of water.
  2. to harvest the bottom leaves from a tobacco plant.
primeness, n. 
  • Latin prīma (hōra) first (hour); (verb, verbal) apparently derivative of the adjective, adjectival
  • Latin prīmus first (superlative corresponding to prior prior1); (noun, nominal) in part derivative of the adjective, adjectival; in part continuing Middle English prim(e) first canonical hour, Old English prim
  • Old French prim)
  • bef. 1000; 1910–15 for def. 5; (adjective, adjectival) Middle English (
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged primary.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Prime, primeval, primitive have reference to that which is first.
      Prime means first in numerical order or order of development:prime meridian; prime cause.Primeval means belonging to the first or earliest ages:the primeval forest.Primitive suggests the characteristics of the origins or early stages of a development, and hence implies the simplicity of original things:primitive tribes, conditions, ornaments, customs, tools.


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

prime /praɪm/ adj
  1. (prenominal) first in quality or value; first-rate
  2. (prenominal) fundamental; original
  3. (prenominal) first in importance, authority, etc; chief
  4. having no factors except itself or one: x² + x + 3 is a prime polynomial
  5. (followed by to) having no common factors (with): 20 is prime to 21
  6. having the best credit rating: prime investments
n
  1. the time when a thing is at its best
  2. a period of power, vigour, etc, usually following youth (esp in the phrase the prime of life)
  3. short for prime number
  4. chiefly the second of the seven canonical hours of the divine office, originally fixed for the first hour of the day, at sunrise
  5. the first of eight basic positions from which a parry or attack can be made in fencing
vb
  1. to prepare (something); make ready
  2. (transitive) to apply a primer, such as paint or size, to (a surface)
  3. (transitive) to fill (a pump) with its working fluid before starting, in order to improve the sealing of the pump elements and to expel air from it before starting
  4. (transitive) to increase the quantity of fuel in the float chamber of (a carburettor) in order to facilitate the starting of an engine
  5. (transitive) to insert a primer into (a gun, mine, charge, etc) preparatory to detonation or firing
  6. (transitive) to provide with facts, information, etc, beforehand; brief
Etymology: (adj) C14: from Latin prīmus first; (n) C13: from Latin prīma (hora) the first (hour); (vb) C16: of uncertain origin, probably connected with n

ˈprimeness n



'prime' also found in these entries:
Collocations: is (still) in the prime of her life, is (still) in his prime, cut [down, short] in her prime, more...

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