first

First is number one, prior to, or before. First comes first, then comes everything else. It's always good to be first in line or in first class. Who wants to be second? Or worse — last?

Whether it’s a noun, adjective, or adverb, you’ll find first at the beginning and opposite from last. And whether you’ve won first place or have just become the First Lady, first usually indicates a good thing — unless of course you're first to be fired. That doesn’t answer the Abbott and Costello question “Who's on first?” though.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: first

1
adjnadv
preceding all others in time or space or degree
the first or highest in an ordering or series
before another in time, space, or importance
2
adj
highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections
3
n
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)
4
n
an honours degree of the highest class
5
n
the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: first
1

adj 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”
Synonyms
front
relating to or located in the front
early
at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time
archetypal, archetypical, prototypal, prototypic, prototypical
representing or constituting an original type after which other similar things are patterned
basic, introductory
serving as a base or starting point
initial
occurring at the beginning
eldest, firstborn
first in order of birth
first-year, freshman
used of a person in the first year of an experience (especially in United States high school or college)
original
preceding all others in time or being as first made or performed
premier, premiere
preceding all others in time
premier, prime
first in rank or degree
prime
used of the first or originating agent
original
being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of
primary
of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary
Antonyms:
last
coming after all others in time or space or degree or being the only one remaining
fourth-year, senior
used of the fourth and final year in United States high school or college
sunset
providing for termination
ultimate
being the last or concluding element of a series
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adj ranking above all others

“was first in her class”
Synonyms:
foremost, world-class
best
(superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities

adj indicating the beginning unit in a series

Synonyms:
1st
ordinal
being or denoting a numerical order in a series

adj serving to begin

“the first verse”
Synonyms:
beginning
opening
first or beginning

adj serving to set in motion

“his first (or maiden) speech in Congress”
Synonyms:
inaugural, initiative, initiatory, maiden
opening
first or beginning

n the first or highest in an ordering or series

“He wanted to be the first
Synonyms:
number one
Types:
former
the first of two or the first mentioned of two
Type of:
rank
relative status

n the first element in a countable series

“the first of the month”
Synonyms:
number 1, number one
Type of:
no., ordinal, ordinal number
the number designating place in an ordered sequence

n the time at which something is supposed to begin

Synonyms:
beginning, commencement, get-go, kickoff, offset, outset, showtime, start, starting time
Antonyms:
middle
time between the beginning and the end of a temporal period
end, ending
the point in time at which something ends
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Types:
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birth
the time when something begins (especially life)
incipience, incipiency
beginning to exist or to be apparent
starting point, terminus a quo
earliest limiting point
threshold
the starting point for a new state or experience
cradle
birth of a person
Type of:
point, point in time
an instant of time

adv before another in time, space, or importance

“I was here first
“let's do this job first

adv before anything else

first we must consider the garter snake”
Synonyms:
first of all, first off, firstly, foremost

adv the initial time

“when Felix first saw a garter snake”
Synonyms:
for the first time

adv prominently forward

Synonyms:
foremost
2

adj highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections

first soprano”
“the first violin section”
“played first horn”
Antonyms:
second
a part or voice or instrument or orchestra section lower in pitch than or subordinate to the first
3

n 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)

Synonyms:
first base
Type of:
position
(in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player
4

n an honours degree of the highest class

Synonyms:
first-class honours degree
Types:
double first
a first-class honours degree in two subjects
Type of:
honours, honours degree
a university degree with honors
5

n the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving

Synonyms:
first gear, low, low gear
Type of:
gear, gear mechanism
a mechanism for transmitting motion for some specific purpose (as the steering gear of a vehicle)
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