Definition for PRIME


  1. The first opening of day; the dawn; the morning. Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime. – Spenser. The sweet hour of prime. – Milton.
  2. The beginning; the early days. In the very prime of the world. – Hooker.
  3. The spring of the year. Hope waits upon the flowery prime. – Waller.
  4. The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength or beauty. That crop the golden prime of this sweet prince. – Shak. The prime of youth. – Dryden.
  5. The best part. Give him always of the prime. – Swift.
  6. The utmost perfection. The plants … would have been all in prime. – Woodward.
  7. In the Romish church, the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds. – Encyc.
  8. In fencing, the first of the chief guards. – Encyc.
  9. In chimistry, primes are numbers employed, in conformity with the doctrine of definite proportions, to express the ratios in which bodies enter into combination. Primes duly arranged in a table, constitute a scale of chimical equivalents. They also express the ratios of the weights of atoms, according to the atomic theory. Prime of the moon, the new moon, when it first appears after the change. – Encyc. Prime vertical, the vertical circle which passes through the poles of the meridian, or the east and west points of the horizon. Dials projected on the plane of this circle, are called prime vertical or north and south dials. – Encyc.

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