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.]

  1. 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 In this sense, the use of the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase, prime cost.
  2. First in rank, degree or dignity; as, prime minister.
  3. First in excellence; as, prime wheat; cloth of a prime quality. Humility and resignation are prime virtues. – Dryden.
  4. Early; blooming. His starry helm unbuckled, showed him prime / In manhood, where youth ended. – Milton.
  5. 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”.