What does prime mean?

Definitions for prime

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prime.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prime, prime quantitynoun

    a number that has no factor but itself and 1

  2. flower, prime, peak, heyday, bloom, blossom, efflorescence, flushnoun

    the period of greatest prosperity or productivity

  3. primenoun

    the second canonical hour; about 6 a.m.

  4. prime, prime of lifeadjective

    the time of maturity when power and vigor are greatest

  5. premier(a), prime(a)adjective

    first in rank or degree

    "an architect of premier rank"; "the prime minister"

  6. prime(a)adjective

    used of the first or originating agent

    "prime mover"

  7. choice, prime(a), prize, quality, selectadjective

    of superior grade

    "choice wines"; "prime beef"; "prize carnations"; "quality paper"; "select peaches"

  8. primeadjective

    of or relating to or being an integer that cannot be factored into other integers

    "prime number"

  9. prime, meridianverb

    being at the best stage of development

    "our manhood's prime vigor"- Robert Browning

  10. primeverb

    insert a primer into (a gun, mine, or charge) preparatory to detonation or firing

    "prime a cannon"; "prime a mine"

  11. prime, ground, undercoatverb

    cover with a primer; apply a primer to

  12. primeverb

    fill with priming liquid

    "prime a car engine"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Primeadjective

    Etymology: primus, Lat.

    His starry helm unbuckl’d, shew’d him prime
    In manhood, where youth ended. John Milton, Par. Lost.

    Divers of prime quality, in several counties, were, for refusing to pay the same, committed to prison. Edward Hyde.

    Nor can I think, that God will so destroy
    We his prime creatures dignify’d so high. John Milton.

    Humility and resignation are our prime virtues. Dryden.

    We smother’d
    The most replenished sweet work of nature,
    That from the prime creation e’er she fram’d. William Shakespeare.

    Moses being chosen by God to be the ruler of his people, will not prove that priesthood belonged to Adam’s heir, or the prime fathers. John Locke.

    We are contented with
    Catharine our queen, before the primest creature
    That’s paragon’d i’ th’ world. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

  2. Primenoun

    Etymology: primus, Lat.

    His larum bell might loud and wide be heard
    When cause requir’d, but never out of time,
    Early and late it rung at evening and at prime. Edmund Spenser.

    Sure pledge of day, that crown’st the smiling morn
    With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere
    While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. John Milton.

    Quickly sundry arts mechanical were found out in the very prime of the world. Richard Hooker, b. i. s. 10.

    Nature here wanton’d as in her prime. John Milton.

    Give no more to ev’ry guest,
    Than he’s able to digest,
    Give him always of the prime,
    And but little at a time. Jonathan Swift.

    Make haste, sweet love, whilst it is prime,
    For none can call again the passed time. Edmund Spenser.

    Will she yet debase her eyes on me,
    That cropt the golden prime of this sweet prince,
    And made her widow to a woful bed? William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
    That happiness and prime can happy call. William Shakespeare.

    Likeliest she seem’d to Ceres in her prime. John Milton.

    No poet ever sweetly sung,
    Unless he were, like Phœbus, young;
    Nor ever nymph inspir’d to rhyme,
    Unless, like Venus, in her prime. Jonathan Swift.

    Short were her marriage joys; for in the prime
    Of youth, her lord expir’d before his time. Dryden.

    Hope waits upon the flow’ry prime,
    And summer, though it be less gay,
    Yet is not look’d on as a time
    Of declination or decay. Edmund Waller.

    The poet and his theme in spite of time,
    For ever young enjoys an endless prime. George Granville.

    The plants which now appear in the most different seasons, would have been all in prime, and flourishing together at the same time. John Woodward.

  3. To Primeverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    A pistol of about a foot in length, we primed with well-dried gunpowder. Boyle.

    Prime all your firelocks, fasten well the stake. John Gay.

    His friendship was exactly tim’d,
    He shot before your foes were prim’d. Jonathan Swift, Miscel.


  1. prime

    A prime is a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. In other words, a prime number only has two factors, 1 and the number itself. Examples include 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13 among others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Primeadjective

    first in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary

  2. Primeadjective

    first in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance; as, prime minister

  3. Primeadjective

    first in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat; a prime quality of cloth

  4. Primeadjective

    early; blooming; being in the first stage

  5. Primeadjective

    lecherous; lustful; lewd

  6. Primeadjective

    marked or distinguished by a mark (') called a prime mark

  7. Primenoun

    the first part; the earliest stage; the beginning or opening, as of the day, the year, etc.; hence, the dawn; the spring

  8. Primenoun

    the spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength, or beauty; perfection

  9. Primenoun

    that which is first in quantity; the most excellent portion; the best part

  10. Primeadjective

    the morning; specifically (R. C. Ch.), the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds

  11. Primeadjective

    the first of the chief guards

  12. Primeadjective

    any number expressing the combining weight or equivalent of any particular element; -- so called because these numbers were respectively reduced to their lowest relative terms on the fixed standard of hydrogen as 1

  13. Primeadjective

    a prime number. See under Prime, a

  14. Primeadjective

    an inch, as composed of twelve seconds in the duodecimal system; -- denoted by [']. See 2d Inch, n., 1

  15. Primeadjective

    to apply priming to, as a musket or a cannon; to apply a primer to, as a metallic cartridge

  16. Primeadjective

    to lay the first color, coating, or preparation upon (a surface), as in painting; as, to prime a canvas, a wall

  17. Primeadjective

    to prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to post; to coach; as, to prime a witness; the boys are primed for mischief

  18. Primeadjective

    to trim or prune, as trees

  19. Primeadjective

    to mark with a prime mark

  20. Primeverb

    to be renewed, or as at first

  21. Primeverb

    to serve as priming for the charge of a gun

  22. Primeverb

    to work so that foaming occurs from too violent ebullition, which causes water to become mixed with, and be carried along with, the steam that is formed; -- said of a steam boiler

  23. Etymology: [From Prime, a.]


  1. Prime

    Prime is a 2005 American romantic comedy film starring Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep and Bryan Greenberg. It was written and directed by Ben Younger. The film grossed $67,937,503 worldwide.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prime

    prīm, adj. first in order of time, rank, or importance: chief: excellent: original: early: in early manhood: (Shak.) eager, bold: (math.) incapable of being separated into factors.—n. the beginning: the dawn: the spring: the best part: the height of perfection: full health and strength: a religious service during the first hour after sunrise: (fencing) the first guard against sword-thrusts, also the first and simplest thrust.—adj. Prī′mal, first: original: chief.—n. Primal′ity.—adv. Prime′ly.—ns. Prime′-min′ister, the chief minister of state; Prime′-mov′er, the force which puts a machine in motion: a steam-engine or a water-wheel; Prime′ness; Prime′-num′ber, a first number—i.e. one divisible only by itself or unity.—Prime cost (see Cost). [L. prīmus (for pro-i-mus).]

  2. Prime

    prīm, v.t. to put powder on the nipple of a firearm: to lay on the first coating of colour: to instruct or prepare beforehand.—v.i. to serve for the charge of a gun: in the steam-engine, to carry over hot water with the steam from the boiler into the cylinder.—ns. Prī′mer; Prī′ming; Prī′ming-pow′der, detonating powder: train of powder connecting a fuse with a charge. [Prime (adj.).]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. prime

    The fore part of the artificial day; that is, the first quarter after sunrise.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. prime

    To charge with the powder, percussion-cap, or other device for communicating fire to the charge, as a fire-arm.

Suggested Resources

  1. prime

    Song lyrics by prime -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by prime on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PRIME

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prime is ranked #18511 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Prime surname appeared 1,491 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Prime.

    69.4% or 1,035 total occurrences were White.
    23.6% or 352 total occurrences were Black.
    3.7% or 56 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.2% or 33 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prime' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #789

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prime' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2061

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prime' in Adjectives Frequency: #95

How to pronounce prime?

How to say prime in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prime in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prime in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of prime in a Sentence

  1. The Prime Minister:

    The government's business will continue and The Prime Minister is in safe hands with a brilliant team at St Thomas hospital. And the focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister's direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward.

  2. Malcolm Turnbull:

    Ultimately, the prime minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs, we need a different style of leadership.

  3. Hindustan Times:

    It was almost as if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was standing from all the constituencies, and candidates were irrelevant, a substantial element of the electorate has thus chosen a PM, not their MP.

  4. Angela Rayner:

    The culture is set from the very top, the buck stops with the prime minister, who spent months lying to the British public, which is why he has got to go.

  5. Alon Davidi:

    Netanyahu is the best prime minister the state of Israel has ever had, and we will continue to support him.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for prime

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ممتاز, فاخر, أوليArabic
  • primerCatalan, Valencian
  • prima, prvočísloCzech
  • klargøre, primær, førsteklasses, første, hoved-, primtal-, tidligste, vigtigste, begyndelse, blomstringstid, primtalDanish
  • grundieren, ersteGerman
  • πρώτος, πρωταρχικός, εκλεκτός, ακμήGreek
  • cebar, excelente, primo, primoroso, primero, principalSpanish
  • parim, algarv, esimeneEstonian
  • بهترینPersian
  • alku-, ensimmäinen, primaarinen, ensi-, priima, pää-, jaoton, ensiluokkainen, tärkein, kultakausi, kukoistus, alkulukuFinnish
  • principal, excellent, apprêter, premier, amorcer, de premier ordre, nombre premierFrench
  • príomhaIrish
  • imprimarGalician
  • ראשוני, ראשי, מצוייןHebrew
  • kiváló, príma, első, prím, fő-, elsődleges, fő, prímszámHungarian
  • iniziale, ottimo, primo, primario, di prima qualità, principale, di prima categoria, di prima scelta, all’apice, numero primo, inizi, principio, nel fiore degli anni, tonaleItalian
  • רִאשׁוֹנִיHebrew
  • 最良, 第一級, 素数, 準備, 用意, 素, 最適, 最高, 第一, 最重要, 最初, 下塗, 最盛期, 主音, 原始, [[第一]][[の]][[構え]], 初期Japanese
  • primusLatin
  • tetereMāori
  • eerste, voornaamste, beste, primen, uitstekend, priem, prima, primair, priemgetalDutch
  • pierwsza, pierwszyPolish
  • principal, primeiro, de primeira, primeira, primo, número primo, princípio, ápice, augePortuguese
  • primRomanian
  • пе́рвый, грунтова́ть, превосхо́дный, перви́чный, первокла́ссный, [[гото́вить]] к [[работа, гла́вный, просто́й, основно́й, важне́йший, нача́ло, расцве́т, простое число, зени́тRussian
  • prašteviloSlovene
  • förnämst, klarställa, grunda, prim-, aptera, förstklassig, först, främst, prima, tidigast, viktigast, förbereda, grundmåla, huvud-, glansperiod, prim, glansdagar, utvald, primtal, början, blomstringstidSwedish
  • birincilTurkish
  • 主要Chinese

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    a vigorous blow
    A deterioration
    B bash
    C gauge
    D decline

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