Prime of the moon
Prime Prime, n. 1. The first part; the earliest stage; the beginning or opening, as of the day, the year, etc.; hence, the dawn; the spring. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

In the very prime of the world. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

Hope waits upon the flowery prime. --Waller. [1913 Webster]

2. The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength, or beauty; perfection. ``Cut off in their prime.'' --Eustace. ``The prime of youth.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is first in quantity; the most excellent portion; the best part. [1913 Webster]

Give him always of the prime. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

4. [F. prime, LL. prima (sc. hora). See {Prime}, a.] The morning; specifically (R. C. Ch.), the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds. [1913 Webster]

Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

They sleep till that it was pryme large. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

5. (Fencing) The first of the chief guards. [1913 Webster]

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] [1913 Webster]

7. (Arith.) A prime number. See under {Prime}, a. [1913 Webster]

8. An inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system; -- denoted by [']. See 2d {Inch}, n., 1. [1913 Webster]

{Prime of the moon}, the new moon at its first appearance. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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