First water

First water
First First (f[~e]rst), 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. [1913 Webster]

2. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others. [1913 Webster]

3. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest; as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece. [1913 Webster]

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

{At first hand}, from the first or original source; without the intervention of any agent. [1913 Webster]

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 coat.

{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 {First 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. [1913 Webster]

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

{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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • First Water — means highest quality and is a term which originates from the gemstone trade. The clarity of diamonds is assessed by their translucence; the more like water, the higher the quality. This comparison of diamonds with water dates back to at least… …   Wikipedia

  • first water — n. the best quality and purest luster: said of diamonds, pearls, etc., but also used figuratively …   English World dictionary

  • first water — noun the highest quality gems • Hypernyms: ↑superiority, ↑high quality * * * noun 1. : the highest quality or purest luster used of gems (as diamonds and pearls) 2. : the highest grade or excellence …   Useful english dictionary

  • first water — /fɜst ˈwɔtə/ (say ferst wawtuh) noun 1. the highest degree of fineness in a diamond or other precious stone. 2. the highest rank, quality or degree: a musician of the first water. {from the grading of diamonds where quality is indicated by… …   Australian English dictionary

  • first water — first′ wa′ter n. 1) jew (formerly) the highest degree of fineness in a diamond or other precious stone Compare water 13) 2) the finest quality; highest rank • Etymology: 1745–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • first water — 1. (formerly) the highest degree of fineness in a diamond or other precious stone. Cf. water (def. 13). 2. the finest quality; highest rank. [1745 55] * * * …   Universalium

  • first water — Meaning Of the highest quality. Origin From the gem trade. The clarity of diamonds is assessed by their translucence. The more like water, the higher the quality …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • first water — noun Date: 1753 1. the purest luster used of gems 2. the highest grade, degree, or quality …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • first water — noun a) The highest quality of gemstones, especially of diamonds and pearls. b) Of the highest rank or quality …   Wiktionary

  • first water — n. top and highest quality gems …   English contemporary dictionary

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