# Emily Dickinson Lexicon

## Definition for PRIME

PRIME, a. [L. *primus*; Sax. *frum*, Goth. *frum*, beginning, origin; Goth. *frumist*, first; Dan. *frem*, forward, straight on; *fremmer*, to forward or promote; Sw. *fram*, *främja*; W. *priv*, first; *priviaw*, to grow up, to increase, to prosper; Ir. *priomh*, first, and *reamain*, beginning. See Class Rm, No. 3, 7, 9.]

- First in order of time; original; as, prime fathers; prime creation. – Shak. In this sense, the use of the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase, prime cost.
- First in rank, degree or dignity; as, prime minister.
- First in excellence; as, prime wheat; cloth of a prime quality. Humility and resignation are prime virtues. – Dryden.
- Early; blooming. His starry helm unbuckled, showed him prime / In manhood, where youth ended. – Milton.
- First in value or importance.
*Prime number*, in arithmetic, a number which is divisible only by unity, as 5, 7, 11. – Encyc.*Prime figure*, in geometry, a figure which can not be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, &c.

Return to page 193 of the letter “P”.