AskDefine | Define first

Dictionary Definition

first adj
1 preceding all others in time or space or degree; "the first house on the right"; "the first day of spring"; "his first political race"; "her first baby"; "the first time"; "the first meetings of the new party"; "the first phase of his training" [ant: last, intermediate]
2 indicating the beginning unit in a series [syn: 1st]
3 serving to set in motion; "the magazine's inaugural issue"; "the initiative phase in the negotiations"; "an initiatory step toward a treaty"; "his first (or maiden) speech in Congress"; "the liner's maiden voyage" [syn: inaugural, initiative, initiatory, maiden]
4 serving to begin; "the beginning canto of the poem"; "the first verse" [syn: beginning(a)]
5 ranking above all others; "was first in her class"; "the foremost figure among marine artists"; "the top graduate" [syn: foremost, world-class]
6 highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections; "first soprano"; "the first violin section"; "played first horn" [ant: second]
7 being the gear producing the lowest drive speed; "use first gear on steep hills" [syn: low]


1 the first or highest in an ordering or series; "He wanted to be the first" [syn: number one]
2 the first element in a countable series; "the first of the month" [syn: number one, number 1]
3 the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the get-go that he was the man for her" [syn: beginning, commencement, outset, get-go, start, kickoff, starting time, showtime, offset] [ant: middle, end]
4 the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first base [syn: first base]
5 an honours degree of the highest class [syn: first-class honours degree]
6 the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving [syn: first gear, low gear, low] adv
1 before anything else; "first we must consider the garter snake" [syn: firstly, foremost, first of all, first off]
2 the initial time; "when Felix first saw a garter snake" [syn: for the first time]
3 before another in time, space, or importance; "I was here first"; "let's do this job first"
4 prominently forward; "he put his best foot foremost" [syn: foremost]

User Contributed Dictionary

see First


Alternative spellings





  1. Having no predecessor. The ordinal number corresponding to one.

Alternative forms


numeral first


  1. The person or thing in the first position.
  2. The first gear of an engine.
  3. something that has never happened before; a new occurrence
    This is a first. For once he has nothing to say.
  4. A first-class honours degree.
  5. countable baseball first base
    There was a close play at first.


person or thing in the first position
first gear
first-class honours degree

See also

Extensive Definition

First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one. It can also refer to:
first in German: First
first in Dutch: First
first in Japanese: First

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ab initio, ab ovo, aborigine, ahead, alpha, antecedent, anterior, anticipatory, arch, at first, at the start, banner, basic, before, before everything, beforehand, beginning, blue ribbon, breaking-in, by choice, by election, by vote, capital, cardinal, central, champion, chief, chiefly, ci-devant, commencement, crowning, dominant, earlier, earliest, early, elder, elementary, eminent, essential, exordial, first and foremost, first blush, first glance, first impression, first inning, first lap, first move, first place, first round, first sight, first stage, first step, first thing, firstly, focal, fore, foregoing, forehand, foremost, former, forward, from the beginning, front, frontal, fundamental, gambit, great, head, heading, headmost, hegemonic, highest, in advance, in front, in preference, in the beginning, in the forefront, in the foreground, in the front, in the lead, inaugural, inception, initial, initially, initiative, initiatory, key, le premier pas, leading, least, magisterial, maiden, main, mainly, master, measly, older, oldest, opening, opening move, original, originally, outset, outstanding, overruling, paramount, pioneer, precedent, preceding, precessional, precurrent, precursory, predominant, preeminent, preexistent, prefatory, preferably, preliminary, preludial, prelusive, premier, preparatory, preponderant, prevailing, prevenient, previous, primal, primarily, primary, prime, primitiveness, primitivity, primo, primogenial, primordial, principal, principally, prior, pristine, proemial, propaedeutic, ranking, rather, rather than, ruling, senior, slight, slightest, slim, smallest, sooner, sooner than, sovereign, star, start, stellar, supereminent, supreme, to the fore, to the front, topflight, trifling, triumph, trivial, up ahead, victory, warming-up, win
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