first

Definitions

  • THE FIRST VIEW
    THE FIRST VIEW
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj first ranking above all others "was first in her class","the foremost figure among marine artists","the top graduate"
    • adj first serving to begin "the beginning canto of the poem","the first verse"
    • adj first 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"
    • adj first 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"
    • adj first highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections "first soprano","the first violin section","played first horn"
    • adj first indicating the beginning unit in a series
    • adv first before anything else "first we must consider the garter snake"
    • adv first the initial time "when Felix first saw a garter snake"
    • adv first prominently forward "he put his best foot foremost"
    • adv first before another in time, space, or importance "I was here first","let's do this job first"
    • n first the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first of the bases in the infield (counting counterclockwise from home plate)
    • n first the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving
    • n first an honours degree of the highest class
    • n first the first element in a countable series "the first of the month"
    • n first the first or highest in an ordering or series "He wanted to be the first"
    • n first 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"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The First Post-office in the Sky The First Post-office in the Sky
"'I saw it first—'tis mine—let go!'" "'I saw it first—'tis mine—let go!'"
First time in two weeks First time in two weeks
First regiment Zouave First regiment Zouave
The first page of The Story of the Glittering Plain The first page of The Story of the Glittering Plain
THE GROVES WERE GOD'S FIRST TEMPLES THE GROVES WERE GOD'S FIRST TEMPLES
TOBY'S FIRST NIGHT RIDE TOBY'S FIRST NIGHT RIDE
THE FIRST LESSON THE FIRST LESSON

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first TONKA truck was made in 1947
    • adv First fẽrst Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.; -- much used in composition with adjectives and participles. "Adam was first formed, then Eve.""And all are fools and lovers first or last ."
    • First Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.
    • First Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest; as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.
    • First Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest; as, the first day of a month; the first year of a reign.
    • n First (Mus) The upper part of a duet, trio, etc., either vocal or instrumental; -- so called because it generally expresses the air, and has a preëminence in the combined effect.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Weatherman Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald
    • first Being before all others; being the initial unit or aggregate in order of occurrence or arrangement as to time, place, or rank: the ordinal of one.
    • first Foremost in time; preceding all others of the kind in order of time: as, Adam was the first man; I was the first guest to arrive.
    • first Foremost in place; before all others from the point of view or consideration: as, the first man in a rank or line.
    • first Foremost in importance or estimation; before or superior to all others in character, quality, or degree: as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece; the part of first villain in a play; wheat of the first grade; specifically, in music, highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class: as, first alto; first horn.
    • first Synonyms Primary, primordial, original, primitive, pristine, earliest. See comparison under primary.
    • first Highest, chief, principal, capital, foremost, leading.
    • n first That which is first; the beginning. or that which makes or constitutes a beginning.
    • n first In music: The voice or instrument that takes the highest or chief part in its class, especially in an orchestra or chorus; a leader of a part or group of performers.
    • n first The interval and concord of the unison or prime. See unison and prime.
    • n first Same as first base (which see, above).
    • n first The highest rank in an examination for honors: as, he got a first in mathematics. See double-first.
    • n first Immediately.
    • first Before all others in place or progression, rank, order of time, etc.
    • first Hence Sooner; before doing or suffering (that is, so as not to do or suffer) some act or result: as, I will not do it, I will die first.
    • n first Time; time granted; respite: same as frist.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first restaurant to open in Hollywood was the Musso & Frank Grill in 1919
    • adj First fėrst foremost: preceding all others in place, time, or degree: most eminent: chief
    • adv First before anything else, in time, space, rank, &c
    • n First the first in the order of birth: the eldest child
    • ***

Quotations

  • Mexican Proverb
    Mexican Proverb
    “He who strikes first, strikes twice.”
  • Julius Caesar
    Julius%20Caesar
    “I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome.”
  • Fred A. Allen
    Fred%20A.%20Allen
    “The first thing that strikes a visitor to Paris is a taxi.”
  • Heywood Broun
    Heywood%20Broun
    “A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel.”
  • Bill Walsh
    Bill Walsh
    “We have a lot of players in their first year. Some of them are also in their last year.”
  • Yogi Berra
    Yogi%20Berra
    “You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what is left.”

Idioms

Fall at the first fence - If something falls at the first fence, it goes wrong or fails at the first or an early stage.
***
Fall at the first hurdle - If something falls at the first hurdle, it goes wrong or fails at the first or an early stage.
***
First come, first served - This means there will be no preferential treatment and a service will be provided to those that arrive first.
***
First out of the gate - When someone is first out of the gate, they are the first to do something that others are trying to do.
***
First port of call - The first place you stop to do something is your first port of call.
***
If at first you don't succeed try try again - When you fail, try until you get it right!
***
Which came first the chicken or the egg? - This idiomatic expression is used when it is not clear who or what caused something.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. first, furst, AS. fyrst,; akin to Icel. fyrstr, Sw. & Dan. förste, OHG. furist, G. fürst, prince; a superlatiye form of E. for, fore,. See For Fore, and cf. Formeer Foremost

Usage

In literature:

When he made his first plunge, he had prided himself on indulging an heroic impulse.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
The first side then sends out a second player to "cover" their first man.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft
To Leon was assigned the first watch; for Leon was a courageous boy, and it was not the first time he had taken his turn in this way.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Neosho, First, 4.56; C. E. of First, 2.
"The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 1, March, 1898" by Various
The first point recognized was called Cape Colnett, after one of the volunteers who saw it first.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
Waterville, First, 25; First, C. E., 2.
"The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 2, June, 1898" by Various
Being in the first battle; and "fleshing the sword" alludes to the first time the beginner draws blood with it.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
When he entered that little frame house the infantile Charles had made his first entrance on the stage of life.
"Charles Frohman: Manager and Man" by Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
Post of first sergeant, quartermaster sergeant and musicians.= The first sergeant is never assigned as a guide.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
L. First, you must put yourselves together, as close as you can, in the middle of the grass, and form, for first practice any figure you like.
"The Crown of Wild Olive" by John Ruskin
Infant schools were first thrown open during this year, and steam was first used for heating purposes.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
Of all the phenomena of astronomy the first and the most obvious is that of the rising and the setting of the sun.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
The first thing to do was to cultivate the foreign example; and with that what we call the eighteenth century began.
"Lectures on the French Revolution" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
In a short essay, they are in the first paragraph; in a novel, in the first chapters.
"English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
The day before the Cuxhaven raid the Germans made their first raid over England, and dropped their first bomb on English soil.
"The War in the Air; Vol. 1" by Walter Raleigh
First, the mixture of initials; then, the interchange of the first and third persons.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
Oberlin, First, 41.06; First Mrs. M. A.
"The American Missionary -- Volume 54, No. 2, April, 1900" by Various
After Comte the first great name in the history of sociology is Spencer.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
The first step taken was to remove all of the first range men to the third range.
"History of Morgan's Cavalry" by Basil W. Duke
What at first was obtained by violence was considered by others as lawful to be taken, and a second plunderer succeeded the first.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete" by Thomas Paine
***

In poetry:

The first retainer
he gave to her
was a golden
wedding ring.
"A Marriage" by Robert Creeley
nevertheless
I see for a moment
that's not it: it is
the First Things.
"Seeing For A Moment" by Denise Levertov
Within the sheltered ground
I thought the first to be;
But there my love I found
A-picking flowers for me.
"Song" by Jean Froissart
Mind in its first formation,
While in its plastic state,
Receives primal impressions
Which make it vile or great.
"Needs And Powers" by Jared Barhite
By the rock near the wave,
Where her first kiss she gave,
On the greensward, to me,—
Something I see!
Is it she?
"May Song II" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I hear the tread of pioneers
Of nations yet to be;
The first low wash of waves, where soon
Shall roll a human sea.
"On Receiving An Eagle's Quill From Lake Superior" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

The company, which has locations in London and Montreal, opened its first US outpost in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter this summer, and attracted more than 200 new clients in its first eight weeks.
13 First Avenue, at First Street.
Straight from the fun-fact department: The 49ers are the only team with a first-year NFL head coach and a first-year NFL offensive coordinator.
Around 60% of new grads leave their first job within the first year.
KALKASKA — Grayling moved a step closer Friday night to its first Lake Michigan Conference football title — and first perfect regular season.
WESTLAKE, OH On April 12, 2012, first graders from Norcross Elementary First grade students and Nordson volunteers celebrate the environment School, Norcross, GA, and volunteers from Nordson Corp.
Gretna 's Conner Shedeed picks up a first down in the first half.
"Tracy would be the first to tell you that the first week he struggled a little bit," Groce said.
First Baptist Academy quarterback Corey Todd makes a run for yardage during the first quarter of Friday nights match-up against St John Neumann.
Cable network Baby First will be putting moms first, at least during the cabler's primetime lineup.
The Washington Mine was the first gold quartz mine in Shasta County and was the first patented mine in California.
First Donnie Walsh hired a coach who played professionally in Italy and speaks the language fluently, and then with his first draft pick he looked over to Italy and selected 6-foot-8 forward Danilo Gallinari.
The Fed will hold its first-ever quarterly briefing, and new data will likely reveal sluggish economic growth for the first quarter.
Tony Gwynn Jr didn't make his first appearance as a Dodger in the city that made his dad famous until the bottom of the ninth, but he was central to the Dodgers' 11-inning 4-2 victory, completed almost exactly 24 hours after the first pitch.
Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half ...
***

In science:

First we need to rewrite W in a more compact form.
Derivation-Simple Algebras and the Structures of Generalized Lie Algebras of Witt Type
First we prove the “only if” part of the theorem.
Determinantal random point fields
First observation is that due to points symmetry we may simplify problem by considering particular relation between points.
Random triangle problem: geometrical approach
First we will consider the case in which q > 2.
On the existence of absolutely simple abelian varieties of a given dimension over an arbitrary field
First we will give an upper bound for #I (q , n).
On the existence of absolutely simple abelian varieties of a given dimension over an arbitrary field
First we give a definition of modules over an algebra being equivalent to the usual one.
Locally trivial quantum vector bundles and associated vector bundles
First it can be identified a coordinate which in the field theory can be consistently interpreted as the energy scale and parameterizes the interpolating solution.
AdS/CFT Correspondence and Type 0 String Theory
First we show that the genetic patterns produced by the alternate strategies are not the same.
Random deaths in a computational model for age-structured populations
First, consider deformations that do not break the invariance of the theory under unitary transformations of the random matrix.
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
First, keeping the unitary invariance, one can fine-tune the polynomial in the exponent of P (W ) to make ρ(0)/V just vanish .
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
In accordance with our model lowering the temperature till the 4.2 K and gas-liquid first order phase transition occurs under condition (6.6).
Hierarchic Models of Turbulence, Superfluidity and Superconductivity
In accordance with our model of first order phase transitions (Section 6.2 of ), this fact determines the difference in the temperatures of [gas ࢐ liquid] and [liquid ࢐ solid] transitions.
Hierarchic Models of Turbulence, Superfluidity and Superconductivity
The mechanism, leading to stabilization of (a)- state of primary effectons as the first stage of their polymerization, is a formation of coherent superclusters from primary effectons.
Hierarchic Models of Turbulence, Superfluidity and Superconductivity
First it is necessary to understand the conjugacy classes of GL(n, q).
Random matrix theory over finite fields: a survey
First, for the polynomials z ± 1, replace terms corresponding to partitions with an odd number of odd parts by their negatives.
Random matrix theory over finite fields: a survey
***