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.

Definitions of first
  1. adjective
    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”
    relating to or located in the front
    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
    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)
    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
    used of the first or originating agent
    being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of
    of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary
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    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
    providing for termination
    being the last or concluding element of a series
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  2. adjective
    ranking above all others
    “was first in her class”
    synonyms: foremost, world-class
    (superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities
  3. adjective
    indicating the beginning unit in a series
    synonyms: 1st
    being or denoting a numerical order in a series
  4. adjective
    serving to begin
    “the first verse”
    synonyms: beginning
    first or beginning
  5. adjective
    serving to set in motion
    “his first (or maiden) speech in Congress”
    synonyms: inaugural, initiative, initiatory, maiden
    first or beginning
  6. noun
    the first or highest in an ordering or series
    “He wanted to be the first
    synonyms: number one
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    the first of two or the first mentioned of two
    type of:
    relative status
  7. noun
    the first element in a countable series
    “the first of the month”
    synonyms: number 1, number one
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    type of:
    no., ordinal, ordinal number
    the number designating place in an ordered sequence
  8. noun
    the time at which something is supposed to begin
    synonyms: beginning, commencement, get-go, kickoff, offset, outset, showtime, start, starting time
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    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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    the time when something begins (especially life)
    incipience, incipiency
    beginning to exist or to be apparent
    starting point, terminus a quo
    earliest limiting point
    the starting point for a new state or experience
    birth of a person
    type of:
    point, point in time
    an instant of time
  9. adverb
    before another in time, space, or importance
    “I was here first
    “let's do this job first
  10. adverb
    before anything else
    first we must consider the garter snake”
    synonyms: first of all, first off, firstly, foremost
  11. adverb
    the initial time
    “when Felix first saw a garter snake”
    synonyms: for the first time
  12. adverb
    prominently forward
    synonyms: foremost
  13. adjective
    highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections
    first soprano”
    “the first violin section”
    “played first horn”
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    a part or voice or instrument or orchestra section lower in pitch than or subordinate to the first
  14. noun
    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
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    type of:
    (in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player
  15. noun
    an honours degree of the highest class
    synonyms: first-class honours degree
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    double first
    a first-class honours degree in two subjects
    type of:
    honours, honours degree
    a university degree with honors
  16. noun
    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
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    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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