Prime and ultimate ratio
Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary. ``Prime forests.'' --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

She was not the prime cause, but I myself. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase prime cost. [1913 Webster]

2. First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance; as, prime minister. ``Prime virtues.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. First in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat; a prime quality of cloth. [1913 Webster]

4. Early; blooming; being in the first stage. [Poetic] [1913 Webster]

His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him prime In manhood where youth ended. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. Lecherous; lustful; lewd. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. Marked or distinguished by a mark (') called a prime mark. [1913 Webster]

7. (Math.) (a) Divisible by no number except itself or unity; as, 7 is a prime number. (b) Having no common factor; -- used with to; as, 12 is prime to 25. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• Prime — Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary. Prime… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime conductor — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime factor — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime figure — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime meridian — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime minister — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime mover — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime number — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime vertical — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Prime-vertical dial — Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English