Prim means polite, straight-laced, even twee. Many characters in Jane Austen novels are prim and proper.

Prim describes someone who is so concerned with being proper it becomes almost fake. If you go to the beach on spring break wearing a Victorian bathing costume, you're being prim. Clothes can be prim, too, like that long wool swimsuit. If you're feeling crazy, you can use prim as a verb meaning, "to purse your mouth into a prim expression" — like how you prim your lips when you look down your nose at someone using the wrong fork.

Primary Meanings of prim

affectedly dainty or refined
assume a prim appearance
contract one's lips
Full Definitions of prim

adj affectedly dainty or refined

dainty, mincing, niminy-piminy, twee
(used of persons and their behavior) cultivated and genteel

adj exaggeratedly proper

priggish, prissy, prudish, puritanical, square-toed, straight-laced, straightlaced, strait-laced, straitlaced, tight-laced, victorian
marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness

v assume a prim appearance

“They mince and prim
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v dress primly

prim out, prim up
Type of:
apparel, clothe, dress, enclothe, fit out, garb, garment, habilitate, raiment, tog
provide with clothes or put clothes on

v contract one's lips

“She primmed her lips after every bite of food”
Type of:
compact, compress, constrict, contract, press, squeeze
squeeze or press together

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