Definition for FIRST

FIRST, a. [furst; Sax. first or fyrst, Sw. förste, Dan. förste, first; G. fürste, D. vorst, Dan. fyrste, a prince, that is, first man. It is the superlative of fore, fyr, before, advanced, that is, forest, fyrest, from Sax. faran, to go, or a root of the same family. See Fare and For.]

  1. Advanced before or further than any other in progression; foremost in place; as, the first man in a marching company or troop is the man that precedes all the rest. Hence,
  2. Preceding all others in the order of time. Adam was the first man. Cain was the first murderer. Monday was the first day of January.
  3. Preceding all others in numbers or a progressive series; the ordinal of one; as, 1 is the first number.
  4. Preceding all others in rank, dignity or excellence. Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece. Burke was one of the first geniuses of his age. Give God the first place, in your affections.

Return to page 57 of the letter “F”.