• WordNet 3.6
    • adj prime first in rank or degree "an architect of premier rank","the prime minister"
    • adj prime used of the first or originating agent "prime mover"
    • adj prime being at the best stage of development "our manhood's prime vigor"- Robert Browning"
    • adj prime of superior grade "choice wines","prime beef","prize carnations","quality paper","select peaches"
    • adj prime of or relating to or being an integer that cannot be factored into other integers "prime number"
    • v prime insert a primer into (a gun, mine, or charge) preparatory to detonation or firing "prime a cannon","prime a mine"
    • v prime fill with priming liquid "prime a car engine"
    • v prime cover with a primer; apply a primer to
    • n prime a number that has no factor but itself and 1
    • n prime the time of maturity when power and vigor are greatest
    • n prime the second canonical hour; about 6 a.m.
    • n prime the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Flintstones cartoon was the first thirty-minute cartoon to be aired during prime time
    • Prime (Arith) A prime number. See under Prime a.
    • Prime An inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system; -- denoted by [']. See 2d Inch n., 1.
    • Prime (Chem) Any number expressing the combining weight or equivalent of any particular element; -- so called because these numbers were respectively reduced to their lowest relative terms on the fixed standard of hydrogen as 1.
    • Prime (Math) Divisible by no number except itself or unity; as, 7 is a prime number.
    • Prime Early; blooming; being in the first stage. "His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him prime In manhood where youth ended."
    • Prime First in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat; a prime quality of cloth.
    • Prime First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary. "Prime forests.""She was not the prime cause, but I myself."
    • Prime First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance; as, prime minister. "Prime virtues."
    • Prime (Math) Having no common factor; -- used with to; as, 12 is prime to 25.
    • Prime Lecherous; lustful; lewd.
    • Prime Marked or distinguished by a mark (') called a prime mark.
    • Prime That which is first in quantity; the most excellent portion; the best part. "Give him always of the prime ."
    • Prime (Fencing) The first of the chief guards.
    • Prime The first part; the earliest stage; the beginning or opening, as of the day, the year, etc.; hence, the dawn; the spring. "In the very prime of the world.""Hope waits upon the flowery prime ."
    • Prime The morning; specifically R. C. Ch, the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds. "Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime .""They sleep till that it was pryme large."
    • Prime The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength, or beauty; perfection. "Cut off in their prime .""The prime of youth."
    • Prime To apply priming to, as a musket or a cannon; to apply a primer to, as a metallic cartridge.
    • Prime To be renewed, or as at first. "Night's bashful empress, though she often wane,
      As oft repeats her darkness, primes again."
    • Prime To lay the first color, coating, or preparation upon (a surface), as in painting; as, to prime a canvas, a wall.
    • Prime (Math) To mark with a prime mark.
    • Prime To prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to post; to coach; as, to prime a witness; the boys are primed for mischief.
    • Prime To serve as priming for the charge of a gun.
    • Prime To trim or prune, as trees.
    • Prime To work so that foaming occurs from too violent ebullition, which causes water to become mixed with, and be carried along with, the steam that is formed; -- said of a steam boiler.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Simpsons is the longest running prime-time animated series on television history
    • prime First in order of time; primitive; original: as, the prime cost.
    • prime First in rank, degree, or importance; principal; chief: as, prime minister.
    • prime Of the first excellence, value, or importance; first-rate; capital: as, prime wheat; prime quality; a prime joint of meat.
    • prime Relating to the period or the condition of early manhood and vigor; being in the best or most vigorous time of life. See prime, n., 3.
    • prime Ready; eager; bold.
    • prime Fierce; strong.
    • prime In mathematics, indivisible without a remainder, except by unity; incapable of being separated into simpler factors. Two integers are said to be prime together, or relatively prime, when they have no common divisor except 1. (Thus, 1 alone of all numbers is prime to itself, and in the theory of numbers it must be so regarded.) One integer is said to be prime to a second with respect to a third when it does not contain the second with respect to the third. (See contain, 8.) One matrix is said to be prime to another when their determinants are relatively prime.
    • prime A machine which receives and modifies force as supplied by some natural source, as a water-wheel or a steam-engine.
    • prime Chief, principal, best.
    • n prime The first period; the earliest stage or beginning; specifically, spring.
    • n prime The first hour or period of the day. Specifically— The first hour; the first twelfth of the time between sunrise and sunset.
    • n prime In a more extended sense, from the fact that the lesser canonical hours followed at intervals of three hours, the first quarter of the time between sunrise and sunset, ending half-way between sunrise and midday.
    • n prime The spring of life; youth; full health, strength, or beauty; hence, the highest or most perfect state or most flourishing condition of anything.
    • n prime The best part; that which is best in quality; that which is of prime or high quality or grade, as fish, oysters, etc.; often, in the plural, a prime grade or quality.
    • n prime In fencing: The first of eight parries or guards against thrusts in sword-play, afterward retained in exercise with the foils; the first guard a swordsman surprised by an attack could make, while drawing his weapon from the scabbard near his left thigh. It was followed by parries in seconde, tierce, quarte, up to octave, according as thrusts followed at the openings in the defense made by such guards. In prime guard the point remains low, the hand higher than the eyes, as in drawing the sword, and the knuckles are upward. It is the ordinary position of the German student “on guard,” when fencing with the schlager.
    • n prime Hence — Sometimes, the first and simplest thrust (and parry) which can be made after two fencers have crossed foils and are “on guard” with the left sides of their foils touching: used thus for the direct thrust. This is by some writers called modern prime, while the true prime is called ancient or old prime. In both old and modern prime the word prime is used to indicate the thrust as well as the parry or guard; but this comes from suppression of “in”: thus, prime thrust, for thrust in prime. Prime, seconde, etc., represent numbered sections of an ideal chart covering such parts of a swordsman's trunk as are visible to his opponent, each of which sections is supposed to be guarded by the parry thus numbered. Hence the meaning of a “thrust in prime,” etc.
    • n prime In chem., a number employed, in conformity with the doctrine of definite proportions, to express the ratios in which bodies enter into combination. Primes duly arranged in a table constitute a scale of chemical equivalents. They also express the ratios of atomic weights.
    • n prime A prime number; an integer number not divisible without remainder by any number except itself and unity.
    • n prime The game of primero.
    • n prime A term used in the playing of this game.
    • n prime In music: A tone on the same degree of the scale or staff with a given tone.
    • n prime The interval between any tone and a tone on the same degree with it.
    • n prime The simultaneous combination of two tones on the same degree.
    • n prime In a scale, the first tone; the tonic or keynote. The typical interval of the prime is the unison, acoustically represented by the ratio 1:1; such a prime is called perfect or major. A prime in which one tone is a half-step above the other is called augmented or superfluous. The perfect prime is the most perfect of all consonances—so perfect, indeed, that in its ideal form it is better described as a unison than as a consonance. In harmony, the parallel motion of two voices in perfect primes is forbidden, except when a strictly melodic effect is desired: such primes are called consecutive. Compare consecutive fifth and consecutive octave, under consecutive.
    • n prime One of the fractions into which a unit is immediately divided; a minute. It is generally , but sometimes . Hence, an accent as the symbol of such a fraction: thus b, in algebra, is read “b prime.”
    • n prime The footsteps of a deer.
    • prime To be as at first; be renewed.
    • prime To insert a primer or priming-powder into the vent of a gun before firing.
    • prime In the steam-engine, to carry over hot water with the steam from the boiler into the cylinder: as, the engine primes. See primage, 2.
    • prime To perform the prime or first operation upon or with; prepare. Specifically— To put into a condition for being fired; supply with powder for communicating fire to a charge: said of a gun, mine, etc.
    • prime To cover with a ground or first color or coat in painting or plastering.
    • prime To put in a fit state to act or endure; make ready; especially, to instruct or prepare (a person) beforehand in what he is to say or do; “post”: as, to prime a person with a speech; to prime a witness.
    • prime To trim or prune.
    • n prime The golden number: so called because it shows the prime of the moon.
    • n prime The grade next below the finest variety of a fleece of merino wool.
    • prime To occur or come in advance of others: thus, flood-tide lags between new moon and full moon, but primes between full and new.
    • prime To have precedence, as one claim over another.
    • prime In tobacco-growing: To gather the ripe lower leaves from: said of the plant.
    • prime To gather as ripe: said of leaves.
    • prime To gather later instalments of (leaves). See priming, 5.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Ireland, a prime minister is a called a Taoiseach
    • adj Prime prīm first in order of time, rank, or importance: chief: excellent: original: early: in early manhood: :
    • n Prime the beginning: the dawn: the spring: the best part: the height of perfection: full health and strength: a religious service during the first hour after sunrise:
    • v.t Prime prīm to put powder on the nipple of a firearm: to lay on the first coating of colour: to instruct or prepare beforehand
    • v.i Prime to serve for the charge of a gun: in the steam-engine, to carry over hot water with the steam from the boiler into the cylinder
    • adj Prime prīm (Shak.) eager, bold
    • adj Prime prīm (math.) incapable of being separated into factors
    • n Prime (fencing) the first guard against sword-thrusts, also the first and simplest thrust
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “The teeming Autumn big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden of the prime like widowed wombs after their lords decease.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare.”
  • Jean Bryant
    Jean Bryant
    “The fear of being wrong is the prime inhibitor of the creative process.”
  • E. M. Cioran
    E. M. Cioran
    “No one can keep his grieves in their prime; they use themselves up.”
  • Darius Ogden Mills
    Darius Ogden Mills
    “A knowledge of men is the prime secret of business success.”
  • Norman Mailer
    “I usually need a can of beer to prime me.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. primus, first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior, former. See Prior (a.) Foremost Former, and cf. Prim (a.) Primary Prince


In literature:

The man will be in the prime of his manhood, and the woman in the prime of her womanhood.
"The Heart of Nature" by Francis Younghusband
After his first interview with Elizabeth Farnese, the king announced to Alberoni that he was prime minister.
"The Conspirators" by Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
He looked to the priming of his gun.
"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Can you call again on Saturday, Mr. Prime?
"A Romantic Young Lady" by Robert Grant
Pashitch, Nikola P.: Prime Minister.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8)" by Various
Thus died Mr. George Gillespie, very little past the prime of life.
"Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies)" by John Howie
Go to Saint-Elophe, telephone to the prime minister and communicate the German reply to him officially.
"The Frontier" by Maurice LeBlanc
The prime event was the scrap.
"Rimrock Trail" by J. Allan Dunn
All the skill of the most accomplished cook will avail nothing, unless she is furnished with PRIME PROVISIONS.
"The Cook's Oracle; and Housekeeper's Manual" by William Kitchiner
A wind blew from the shore, and the straws in the Prime Minister's hair rustled like a barley-field in August.
"Oswald Bastable and Others" by Edith Nesbit

In poetry:

Prime Cause uncaused, All-sight unseen!
Unknown, all-knowing—who but Thou
Is, must be, will be, and has been
Infinite—unapproached—as now?
"God alone the fit Object of Praise and Prayer" by John Bowring
Fair hair or dark, that falls along
A form that never shrinks with time;
Bright image of a realm of song,
Standing beside our years of prime;—
"The Girls We Might Have Wed" by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Should he resolve the rainbow's hues,
Into their prime and simple forms,
And thus the charm dispel, unloose,
Which gladdens us, amid the storms?
"How Nature's Beauties Should Be Viewed" by Thomas Frederick Young
"I sow," said Spring, "by the stream and the wood,
And the village children know
The gay glad time of my own sweet prime,
And where my blossoms grow.
"The Two Sowers" by Alexander Anderson
Dead! in that crowning grace of time,
That triumph of life's zenith hour!
Dead! while we watched his manhood's prime
Break from the slow bud into flower!
"Rantoul" by John Greenleaf Whittier
And when my life has pass'd its prime,
Then will dear thoughts of thine and thee
Come floating on the waves of time,
Like flowers thrown o'er a troubled sea.
"Written In An Album" by Mary Anne Browne

In news:

The US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security on Thursday said Ping Cheng and Prime Technology Corp.
Entrées include fresh seafood, prime cut steaks plus a daily special, and brunch on Sundays.
Leaders Bluntly Prime Iraq For 'Mother of All Battles'.
Kristin Adams has part two of Retrogame Roadshow at this year's PAX Prime, getting a look from Wired's Chris Kohler and Gamasutra's Frank Cifaldi at NES games Panic Restaurant, Bubble Bobble Part 2, and bootleg copies of a cancelled Superman.
NEW YORK (AP) — The body count in prime-time television these days rivals that of a war zone.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says "all signs point to Iran".
British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives to Brussels for a two-day EU leaders summit on November 22.
'Canterbury's Law' is a brainy – and welcome – addition to prime time.
For a few days every November, the place for New York State politicians to see and be seen is not Angelo's 677 Prime in Albany or the Regency Hotel in Manhattan, but a resort hotel in the Caribbean.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem ( POOL, REUTERS / August 26, 2012 ).
The Prime Meridian gets all the glory.
Why do primes tend to pair up.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives for a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada, on March 25, 2011.
New British Prime Minister David Cameron succeeds Gordon Brown.
Ethiopians contemplate a nation without Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

In science:

In particular, the ground state must be identified with the vacuum in the primed description (primed vacuum).
Quantum Theory within the Framework of General Relativity
Among irreducible elements of R: the characteristic function χ of any set of prime numbers, i. e., χ(n) is 1 if n prime, zero otherwise; (π (n))2 or, if F is the real field, log n, log(n!), log(nn), etc.
Factorization of integers and arithmetic functions
If q is a prime, α and β are irreducible, q being the first prime for which both are not zero.
Factorization of integers and arithmetic functions
Since 0 is a prime, id must be a prime too and it is not of the above form.
On simple and semisimple quantales
When N is prime, it is possible to prove the following result: Proposition 29 Suppose that N is prime and that A is a subset of ZN with |A ˆ+A| ≤ (log N )2/32.
Counting sets with small sumset, and the clique number of random Cayley graphs