Meaning of FIRST in English


1. happening, existing, done etc first

2. first in a race or competition

3. when something is the first thing you want to say

4. someone’s first performance, appearance, or speech

5. to do something that has never been done before

6. something that is the first




see also







1. happening, existing, done etc first

▷ first /fɜːʳst/ [adjective]

before everyone or everything else :

▪ Laurie’s name was first on the list.

▪ I still remember my first day of school.

▪ She had her first baby in 1998.

▪ I’ve only read the first chapter, but it seems like a really good book.

▪ The first thing I ever had published was an article for the Boy Scout magazine.

▷ first /fɜːʳst/ [adverb]

before you do any other things, or before anything else happens :

▪ I always read the sports page of the newspaper first.

▪ Shall we go out now, or do you want to eat first?

▪ I’ll help you with your homework, but first let me finish the dishes.

▷ first of all /ˌfɜːʳst əv ˈɔːl/ [adverb]

at the beginning, before other events or actions - use this especially to say what you should do or what you did do first :

▪ First of all, fry the onions.

▪ First of all, let me welcome everyone to the meeting.

▪ First of all I went to tell my wife and then my daughter and son-in-law what had happened.

▷ original /əˈrɪdʒɪn ə l, -dʒ ə nəl/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about something that existed at the beginning, especially before a lot of things were changed :

▪ The house still has its original stone floors.

▪ Our original plan was to go camping, but it was pouring with rain.

▷ initial /ɪˈnɪʃ ə l/ [adjective only before noun]

use this to talk about what happened at the beginning of a process or activity or what someone felt at the beginning, especially when this changes later :

initial response/reaction/feeling etc

▪ My initial reaction was one of complete disbelief.

▪ After the initial shock, people adjusted to the new circumstances.

initial difficulties/problems/setbacks etc

▪ Initial difficulties with the computer system were soon fixed.

initial stage/trial/step etc

▪ I was only involved in the initial stages of the planning.

▪ Classes in gun handling are recommended as the initial step for those who want to own a handgun.

initially [adverb]

▪ Far fewer people have applied for the visas than the government initially expected.

▷ earliest /ˈɜːʳliɪst, ˈɜːʳliəst/ [adjective usually before noun]

happening or existing before all others :

▪ ‘The Comedy of Errors’ is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays.

▪ The earliest form of transport was probably some kind of sledge.

▪ Ginger was one of the earliest oriental spices known to Europeans.

▷ the first time /ðə ˌfɜːʳst ˈtaɪm/ [adverb]

use this to say that something happens that has never happened before :

the first time (that)

▪ The first time I went on a plane I was really nervous.

▪ It was the first time that she had seen her mother cry.

for the first time

▪ For the first time, representatives from the two countries will talk at a conference table.

▷ unprecedented /ʌnˈpresɪdentəd, ʌnˈpresədentəd/ [adjective]

something that is unprecedented has never happened before and is usually unexpected :

▪ An unprecedented number of cars entered the race.

▪ The police took the unprecedented step of publishing the victim’s photograph.

▪ The depression that started in mid-1929 was a catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions for the United States.

2. first in a race or competition

▷ be first/come first/finish first /biː ˈfɜːʳst, ˌkʌm ˈfɜːʳst, ˌfɪnɪʃ ˈfɜːʳst/ [verb phrase]

to be the person who wins a race or a competition :

▪ Jones came first in the 200 metres.

▪ Maryam was first to cross the line, in just 12 seconds.

▪ Krzystof finished first among the 147 professional cyclists.

3. when something is the first thing you want to say

▷ firstly/first /ˈfɜːʳstli, fɜːʳst/ [adverb] spoken

say this to introduce the first fact, reason, or question, when you are going to mention several more things :

▪ I wanted to change schools, firstly because I didn’t like the teacher and secondly because it was too far away.

▪ First, may I say that I am extremely grateful for the trust my colleagues have put in me.

▪ African leaders are worried, firstly about the official flow of aid, and also about levels of private investment.

▷ first of all /ˌfɜːʳst əv ˈɔːl/ [adverb] spoken

say this when the reason you are giving first is the most important one :

▪ Freddy, first of all, I didn’t flirt with him. He flirted with me.

▪ I called the book ‘Drum Planet’ because first of all, there are drums in every culture.

▷ to start/begin with /tə ˈstɑːʳt, bɪˈgɪn wɪθ/ [adverb] spoken

say this when your reason or fact is the most easy to see or understand :

▪ To start with, one of the biggest problems in the classroom is that the kids don’t get enough discipline at home.

▪ Working at home is a good option, because, to begin with, what’s the point of driving two hours a day just to sit in front of a computer?

▷ in the first place also for a start British /ɪn ðə ˈfɜːʳst pleɪs, fər ə ˈstɑːʳt/ [adverb] spoken

say this when you are arguing or discussing something with someone and you are going to give the main reason that proves that what you are saying is true :

▪ In the first place, they have a more experienced team, so they’re more likely to win.

▪ We haven’t made a decision, because, in the first place, we do not know enough at this point.

▪ For a start, someone’s sex should not matter in a job interview.

▷ before I start /bɪˌfɔːr aɪ ˈstɑːʳt/ spoken

say this when you are going to say something before you start the main part of a speech or talk to a group of people :

▪ Before I start, I’d like to thank everyone for coming.

▪ All right, before I start, could everyone please stand up and introduce themselves.

4. someone’s first performance, appearance, or speech

▷ debut /ˈdeɪbjuː, ˈdebjuːǁdeɪˈbjuː, dɪ-/ [countable noun usually singular]

someone’s first public performance, especially in a play, a film or a sport :

▪ ‘Little Man Tate’ was Jodie Foster’s directorial debut.

debut for

▪ This is his debut for his new club, Manchester United.

make your debut

▪ Charlie Chaplin made his film debut in 1913.

▷ premiere /ˈpremieəʳǁprɪˈmɪər/ [countable noun usually singular]

the first public performance of a play or film :

▪ I’ve been invited to the premiere of the new Schliessman play.

world premiere

the first performance anywhere in the world

▪ Music-lovers gathered in Boston for the world premiere of Gershwin’s opera, ‘Porgy and Bess’.

film/movie premiere

▪ ‘Singing in the Rain’ begins with its stars attending a movie premiere.

▷ maiden /ˈmeɪdn/ [adjective only before noun]

maiden voyage/flight/speech

the first one that a particular ship, aircraft, or person makes :

▪ The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage.

▪ Two jets crashed on their maiden flights last year.

▪ The new prime minister admitted that her maiden speech had been too long.

▷ inaugural /ɪˈnɔːgjɑrəl/ [adjective only before noun]

inaugural lecture/address/speech etc

one that an important person does or makes when they first start a new job :

▪ The inaugural address drew a large audience.

▪ Professor Eston gave the inaugural lecture in 1860.

5. to do something that has never been done before

▷ be the first to do something /biː ðə ˌfɜːʳst tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase]

▪ The Spanish were the first to keep cattle in the American deserts.

▪ She was the first to see the link between poverty and poor health.

be the first person to do something

▪ Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space.

▷ show the way/lead the way /ˌʃəʊ ðə ˈweɪ, ˌliːd ðə ˈweɪ/ [verb phrase]

to be the first to do something, especially something good or successful, which may encourage others to do something similar :

▪ Once the Japanese had shown the way, manufacturers in other countries soon began to use robots on a large scale.

lead the way in doing something

▪ The company has led the way in developing environmentally friendly products.

▷ never been done/attempted/tried before /ˌnevəʳ biːn ˈdʌn, əˈtemptə̇d, ˈtraɪd bɪˌfɔːʳ/

use this about something someone does or tries to do that no-one has ever done before :

▪ The special effects in the movie included things that had never been done before.

▪ Because of advances in technology, we are able to try something that has never been attempted before.

▷ pioneer /ˌpaɪəˈnɪəʳ/ [transitive verb]

to be the first to invent or find a new method of doing something, and make it possible or easier for others to do the same :

▪ He pioneered techniques for photographing moving objects.

▪ Heart-transplant surgery was pioneered by Professor Christiaan Barnard.

pioneer [countable noun]

▪ She became famous as a pioneer of the person who pioneered prison reform.

▷ pioneering /ˌpaɪəˈnɪ ə rɪŋ◂/ [adjective only before noun]

using new and better methods or ideas for the first time :

▪ Her pioneering work in the field of education will be remembered.

▪ Cowley’s pioneering development of modern emergency medicine helped save countless lives.

▷ break new ground /ˌbreɪk njuː ˈgraʊndǁ-nuː-/ [verb phrase]

if someone or their work breaks new ground, their work is completely new and different from anything that existed before :

▪ Roosevelt’s social reform program broke new ground.

▪ The album is enjoyable, but breaks no new ground.

▪ There’s a lot of new ground being broken in the field of genetic research.

ground-breaking /ˈgraʊnd ˌbreɪkɪŋ/ [adjective only before noun]

▪ He won praise as governor for his ground-breaking educational reforms.

▷ break the mould British /mold American /ˌbreɪk ðə ˈməʊld/ [verb phrase]

to be the first to do something in a different way from the way it was usually done before :

▪ The governor urged teachers to break the mold in establishing new ways of teaching.

▪ The new party promised to break the mould of British politics.

6. something that is the first

▷ a first /ə ˈfɜːʳst/ [singular noun]

something that has never been done or achieved by anyone before and is therefore surprising or exciting :

▪ If an animated film was nominated as best picture, it would be a first.

a first in

▪ Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile was a notable first in the history of athletics.

▪ During the 1960's, the Soviet Union achieved a series of firsts in space exploration.

a first for

▪ Delivering a baby on the job was a first for the two police officers.

▷ prototype /ˈprəʊtətaɪp/ [countable noun]

the first model of something, especially of a machine or a new invention, that is often improved in later models :

▪ No damage to the prototype aircraft was reported after its first test flight.

prototype of

▪ Pilots have begun testing a prototype of the new aircraft.

▪ The prototype of this particular computer was developed by an American in 1975.

prototype for

▪ Within a year, the company expects to have a prototype for military use.

▷ original /əˈrɪdʒɪn ə l, -dʒ ə nəl/ [countable noun]

something such as a picture or a piece of writing that is not a copy but is the one produced for the first time by the artist or writer themselves :

▪ I wasn’t sure whether the portrait was an excellent copy or the original.

▪ This is a photograph of the manuscript. The original is in the city museum.

original [adjective]

▪ Only a millionaire could afford to buy an original Picasso a picture by Picasso that is not a copy .

▷ first-generation /ˌfɜːʳst dʒenəˈreɪʃ ə n/ [adjective only before noun]

first-generation computers, machines etc were the first ones of their type to be produced, and are the ones that later computers, machines etc of the same type are based on :

▪ The first-generation digital televisions cost over $2000.

▪ There were a variety of problems common to first-generation computer software programs.

first generation [singular noun]

first-generation of

▪ The first generation of cellular phones used analog transmitters and receivers.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .