Meaning of FIRST in English

I. ˈfərst 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


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

- at first

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.