first
I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fyrst; akin to Old High German furist first, Old English faran to go — more at fare Date: before 12th century preceding all others in time, order, or importance: as a. earliest b. being the lowest forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle c. having the highest or most prominent part among a group of similar voices or instruments <
first tenor
>
<
first violins
>
II. adverb Date: before 12th century 1. a. before another in time, space, or importance b. in the first place — often used with of all c. for the first time 2. in preference to something else ; sooner III. noun Date: 13th century 1. — see number table 2. something that is first: as a. the first occurrence or item of a kind b. the first forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle c. the highest or chief voice or instrument of a group d. an article of commerce of the finest grade e. the winning or highest place in a competition, examination, or contest 3. first base

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • First — or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one. It can also refer to:* FIRST, a science and technology competition founded by Dean Kamen * FIRST (CERT), Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams * Ruth First (1925 1982), a leading anti… …   Wikipedia

  • First — (f[ e]rst), adv. Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.; much used in composition with adjectives and participles. [1913 Webster] Adam was first formed, then Eve. 1 Tim. ii. 13. [1913 Webster] {At first}, {At the first}, at… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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