coming before all the other things or people in a series
نخست، اول، اولین
I am the first child in the family.
من فرزند اول خانواده هستم.
before all the others:
January is the first month of the year.
You've won first prize!
I. first1 S1 W1 /fɜːst $ fɜːrst/ BrE AmE adjective
[Language: Old English; Origin: fyrst]
1. IN A SERIES coming before all the other things or people in a series:
Ella was his first girlfriend.
the first thing/time/day etc
The first time I flew on a plane I was really nervous.
In the first year, all students take five courses.
He said the first thing that came into his head.
the first step towards achieving a peace agreement
There’s a meeting on the first Monday of every month.
the first two/three/few etc
I only read the first two chapters of the book.
It rained during the first few days of the trip.
The first and last mountain I climbed was Mount Rundle (=it was the only mountain I ever climbed).
2. for the first time used to say that something has never happened or been done before:
For the first time in his life he felt truly happy.
The survey revealed that, for the first time, there are more women in the workplace than men.
Not for the first time she wondered how he coped with so many children.
3. MAIN most important:
Our first priority is to maintain the standard of work.
As I see it, my first responsibility is to my family.
4. in the first place
a) used to talk about the beginning of a situation, or the situation before something happened:
Why did you agree to meet her in the first place?
He wouldn’t have given you the job in the first place if he didn’t think you could do it.
b) written used to give the first in a list of reasons or points:
Her success was secured by two factors. In the first place, she had the support of managers.
5. in the first instance formal at the start of a situation or series of actions:
The appointment of research officer will be for two years in the first instance.
Enquiries should be made in the first instance to the Human Resources Director.
6. at first glance/sight the first time that you look at someone or something, before you notice any details:
At first glance the twins look identical.
At first sight, there didn’t appear to be much damage. ⇨ love at first sight at ↑love2(2)
7. first things first used to say that something should be done or dealt with first because it is the most important
8. (at) first hand if you see, experience, hear etc something at first hand, you see, experience etc it yourself, not through other people:
Many people have seen the horrors of war at first hand. ⇨ ↑first-hand
9. first prize/place the prize that is given to the best person or thing in a competition
win/take first prize
She won first prize in a painting competition.
first prize/place of
There is a first prize of £10,000.
10. first choice the thing or person you like best:
John was our first choice as a name for the baby.
11. first thing as soon as you get up in the morning, or as soon as you start work:
I’ll call you first thing tomorrow.
We’re leaving first thing.
12. at first light literary very early in the morning:
The search will resume at first light tomorrow.
13. make the first move to be the person who starts to do something when someone else is too nervous, embarrassed etc to do it:
He was glad she had made the first move and kissed him.
14. not have the first idea about something (also not know/understand the first thing about something) to not know anything about a subject, or not know how to do something:
I wouldn’t have the first idea about what to do in that situation.
I don’t know the first thing about cars.
15. the first flush of something the beginning of a good period of time when you are young, successful etc
be in the first flush of passion/youth etc
He was no longer in the first flush of youth.
The first flush of enthusiasm had passed.
16. JOB TITLE used in the title of someone’s job or position to show that they have a high rank:
the first officer
the First Lord of the Admiralty
17. first among equals officially on the same level as other people but really having more power
18. of the first water old-fashioned of the highest quality
first [first firsts] determiner, ordinal number, adverb, noun [fɜːst] [fɜːrst]
determiner, ordinal number
1. happening or coming before all other similar things or people; 1st
• his first wife
• It was the first time they had ever met.
• I didn't take the first bus.
• students in their first year at college
• your first impressions
• She resolved to do it at the first (= earliest) opportunity.
• King Edward I (= pronounced ‘King Edward the First’)
• the first of May/May 1st
• His second book is better than his first.
2. the most important or best
• Your first duty is to your family.
• She won first prize in the competition.
• an issue of the first importance
Rem: Most idioms containing first are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example on first acquaintance is at acquaintance.
Old English fyr(e)st; of Germanic origin, related to Old Norse fyrstr and German Fürst ‘prince’, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit prathama, Latin primus, and Greek prōtos.
first det., adj.
• It was the first time they had ever met.
initial • • original • • earliest • • opening • • introductory • • preliminary • |especially BrE, formal preparatory • |formal technical primary •
the first/initial/earliest/opening/introductory/preliminary/preparatory/primary stage
a/an first/initial/original/preliminary estimate/draft/version
a/an first/initial/preliminary step/appointment/visit
• She won first prize in the competition.
top • • main • • key • • highest • • primary • • prime • |informal number one • |especially written foremost • |especially written journalism premier •
the/our first/top/main/key/highest/number one/foremost priority
the/our first/top/main/key/primary/prime/foremost/number one concern
(the) first/top/premier division/prize
Ordering your points
▪ This study has the following ▪ aims: first ▪, to investigate how international students in the UK use humour; second ▪, to examine how jokes can help to establish social relationships; and, third ▪, to explore the role that humour plays in helping overseas students adjust to life in the UK.
Let us begin by ▪ identifying some of the popular joke genres in the UK.
Next, let us turn to ▪ / Next, let us consider ▪ the question of gender differences in the use of humour.
Finally ▪ / Lastly ▪, let us briefly examine the role of humour in defining a nation's culture.
notes at firstly, lastly
Language Banks at conclusion, process
• First impressions can be misleading.
• I didn't take the first bus.
• If he wants to see me, he should make the first move.
• Local voters gave Steven Hughes first preference.
• My first impulse was to run away.
• She resolved to do it at the first opportunity.
• She's in her first year at college
• This is an issue of the first importance.
• We're having chicken for the first course.
• When the first settlers moved into the area they faced immense hardship.
• You can have first choice of all the rooms.
Idioms: at first ▪ come first ▪ first among equals ▪ first and foremost ▪ first and last ▪ first come, first served ▪ first of all ▪ first off ▪ first up ▪ from first to last ▪ from the first ▪ put somebody first ▪ there's a first time for everything
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
first / ˈfɜːst / / ˈfɝːst / ordinal number , determiner
A1 (a person or thing) coming before all others in order, time, amount, quality, or importance:
This is my first visit to New York.
I fell in love with him the first time I saw him.
I'm always nervous for the first few minutes of an exam.
Today is the first ( of August).
in the first place B2 in or at the beginning (of a series of events):
The trousers shrank when I washed them, but they weren't really big enough in the first place.
Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, but he never should have been there in the first place.
in the first instance UK as the first attempt or effort:
Enquiries about the post should be addressed in the first instance to the personnel manager.
first thing at the earliest time in the day:
He said he'd phone back first thing tomorrow.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
1) ORD The first thing, person, event, or period of time is the one that happens or comes before all the others of the same kind.
She lost 16 pounds in the first month of her diet.
...the first few flakes of snow...
Two years ago Johnson came first in the one hundred metres at Seoul.
First is also a pronoun. The second paragraph startled me even more than the first... He put me through a series of exercises to improve my car control. The first was to drive on simulated ice.
2) ADV: ADV with v, ADV with cl/group If you do something first, you do it before anyone else does, or before you do anything else.
I do not remember who spoke first, but we all expressed the same opinion...
First, tell me what you think of my products...
Routine questions first, if you don't mind.
3) ORD When something happens or is done for the first time, it has never happened or been done before.
This is the first time she has experienced disappointment...
It was the first occasion when they had both found it possible to keep a rendezvous.
ADV: ADV with v
First is also an adverb. Anne and Steve got engaged two years after they had first started going out... I met him first at his house where we had a chat.
4) N-SING: a N, oft N for n An event that is described as a first has never happened before and is important or exciting.
It is a first for New York. An outdoor exhibition of Fernando Botero's sculpture on Park Avenue.
5) PRON: the PRON that The first you hear of something or the first you know about it is the time when you first become aware of it.
We heard it on the TV last night - that was the first we heard of it...
When Mark arrived home that afternoon, it was the first he knew for sure of the surprise party.
6) ADV: ADV before v You use first when you are talking about what happens in the early part of an event or experience, in contrast to what happens later.
When he first came home he wouldn't say anything about what he'd been doing.
ORD: usu poss ORD
First is also an ordinal. She told him that her first reaction was disgust... My first feeling on getting into the cabin was one of dislike to everything I saw.
7) ADV: ADV after v (emphasis) In order to emphasize your determination not to do a particular thing, you can say that rather than do it, you would do something else first.
Marry that fat son of a fat cattle dealer? She would die first!
8) ADV: ADV with cl/group You use first when you are about to give the first in a series of items.
Certain basic guidelines can be given. First, have a heating engineer check the safety of the heating system.
9) ORD The first thing, person, or place in a line is the one that is nearest to you or nearest to the front.
Before him, in the first row, sat the President...
First in the queue were two Japanese students.
10) ORD You use first to refer to the best or most important thing or person of a particular kind.
The first duty of any government must be to protect the interests of the taxpayers...
Imagine winning the local lottery first prize of ₤5,000.
...first team football.
11) ORD First is used in the title of the job or position of someone who has a higher rank than anyone else with the same basic job title.
...the First Lord of the Admiralty.
...the first mate of a British tanker.
12) N-COUNT: oft N in n In British universities, a first is an honours degree of the highest standard.
...an Oxford Blue who took a First in Constitutional History.
13) PHRASE: PHR with cl/group You use first of all to introduce the first of a number of things that you want to say.
The cut in the interest rates has not had very much impact in California for two reasons. First of all, banks are still afraid to loan.
14) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use at first when you are talking about what happens in the early stages of an event or experience, or just after something else has happened, in contrast to what happens later.
At first, he seemed surprised by my questions...
I had some difficulty at first recalling why we were there.
15) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that someone or something comes first for a particular person, you mean they treat or consider that person or thing as more important than anything else.
There's no time for boyfriends, my career comes first.
16) PHRASE You say `first come first served' to indicate that a group of people or things will be dealt with or given something in the order in which they arrive.
There will be five buses, first come first served.
17) PHRASE: PHR with cl From the first means ever since something started.
You knew about me from the first, didn't you?...
I thought from the first that she was a little unsure about that marriage.
18) PHRASE: PHR after v If you learn or experience something at first hand, you experience it yourself or learn it directly rather than being told about it by other people.
He arrived in Natal to see at first hand the effects of the recent heavy fighting.
from the outset
19) PHRASE: V inflects (emphasis) If you say that you do not know the first thing about something, you are emphasizing that you know absolutely nothing about it.
You don't know the first thing about farming.
20) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use first off to introduce the first of a number of things that you want to say. [INFORMAL]
First off, huge apologies for last month's confusing report.
21) PHRASE: V inflects If you put someone or something first, you treat or consider them as more important than anything else.
Somebody has to think for the child and put him first.
22) PHRASE You say `first things first' when you are talking about something that should be done or dealt with before anything else because it is the most important.
Let's see if we can't find something to set the mood. First things first; some music.
23) first and foremost → see foremost
COMB in ADV: ADV after v
-first combines with nouns like `head' and `feet' to indicate that someone moves with the part that is mentioned pointing in the direction in which they are moving.
He overbalanced and fell head first.
1first /ˈfɚst/ adj
1 : coming before all others in time, order, or importance
• She won first prize.
• We sat in the first row.
• his first wife
• her first book/child
• in the first century
• his first offense
• her first kiss
• She succeeded on her first attempt/try.
• He was (the) first in line.
• We will correct these errors at the first opportunity. [=as soon as it is possible to do so]
• English is not my first [=native] language. [=it is not the language I learned first; I learned to speak another language before I learned to speak English]
• She's in first grade. [=the first level in school after kindergarten]
• I still remember the first time I saw her.
• You should leave at the first [=earliest] hint of trouble.
• My first [=initial] impulse was to say no.
• This is a matter of the first [=highest] importance.
• Your first [=main] concern should be to get well.
• the captain and the first mate [=the officer on a ship who is most important after the captain]
• She was accused of murder in the first degree. [=first-degree murder; the most serious kind of murder]
- used to refer to the lowest forward gear or speed of a vehicle
• I couldn't get the car out of first gear.
3 : having or playing the main part in a group of instruments
• first violin
at first blush or at first glance also at first sight : when first seen or considered
• At first blush, the proposal seems ridiculous.
• It appears at first glance/sight to be a simple matter of hiring more people.
at first hand : in a direct way : firsthand
• I had a chance to verify his claims at first hand.
first among equals
✦A person who is first among equals is the leader of a group of people but is officially considered equal in rights and status to the other members of the group.
• As a director, he encourages collaboration and considers himself only (the) first among equals.
1 the first thing : anything at all - used in negative statements
• He doesn't know/understand the first thing about the problems we've been having.
2 : before anything else : right away : very early
• I'll be back first thing (on) Monday morning.
• She promised to call first thing in the morning.
first things first
- used to say that you should do the things that are most important before doing other things
• I know you're eager to start shopping for a car, but first things first—you need to find out how much you can afford to spend.
• You must set priorities and learn how to put first things first.
in the first flush of
- see 1flush
in the first instance
- see instance
in the first place
- see 1place
love at first sight
- see 1love