Meaning of PRIME in English


/ praɪm; NAmE / adjective , noun , verb

■ adjective [ only before noun ]


main; most important; basic :

My prime concern is to protect my property.

Winning is not the prime objective in this sport.

The care of the environment is of prime importance.

He's the police's prime suspect in this case.

➡ note at main


of the best quality; excellent :

prime (cuts of) beef

The store has a prime position in the mall.


a prime example of sth is one that is typical of it :

The building is a prime example of 1960s architecture.


most likely to be chosen for sth; most suitable :

The house is isolated and a prime target for burglars.

He's a prime candidate for promotion.

■ noun

[ sing. ] the time in your life when you are strongest or most successful :

a young woman in her prime

He was barely 30 and in the prime of (his) life .

These flowers are long past their prime .

■ verb


prime sb (for / with sth) to prepare sb for a situation so that they know what to do, especially by giving them special information

SYN brief :

[ vn ]

They had been primed with good advice.

She was ready and primed for action.

[ vn to inf ]

He had primed his friends to give the journalists as little information as possible.


[ vn ] to make sth ready for use or action :

The bomb was primed, ready to explode.


[ vn ] to prepare wood, metal, etc. for painting by covering it with a special paint that helps the next layer of paint to stay on


- prime the pump



noun and adjective Old English prīm (referring to a service of the Divine Office of the Western Church, said at the first hour of the day), from Latin prima (hora) first (hour), reinforced in Middle English by Old French prime ; the adjective dates from late Middle English , via Old French from Latin primus first.

verb early 16th cent. (in the sense fill, load ): origin uncertain; probably based on Latin primus first, since the sense expressed is a “first” operation prior to something else.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.