AskDefine | Define prime

Dictionary Definition

prime adj
1 first in rank or degree; "an architect of premier rank"; "the prime minister" [syn: premier(a), prime(a)]
2 used of the first or originating agent; "prime mover" [syn: prime(a)]
3 of superior grade; "choice wines"; "prime beef"; "prize carnations"; "quality paper"; "select peaches" [syn: choice, prime(a), prize, quality, select]
4 of or relating to or being an integer that cannot be factored into other integers; "prime number"
5 at the best stage; "our manhood's prime vigor"- Robert Browning


1 a number that has no factor but itself and 1 [syn: prime quantity]
2 the period of greatest prosperity or productivity [syn: flower, peak, heyday, bloom, blossom, efflorescence, flush]
3 the second canonical hour; about 6 a.m.
4 the time of maturity when power and vigor are greatest [syn: prime of life]


1 insert a primer into (a gun, mine, charge, etc.) preparatory to detonation or firing; "prime a cannon"; "prime a mine"
2 cover with a primer; apply a primer to [syn: ground, undercoat]
3 fill with priming liquid; "prime a car engine"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /praɪm/, /praIm/,
  • Rhymes with: -aɪm

Etymology 1

From Old (and modern) French prime, from Latin primus ‘first’.


  1. First in time, order, or sequence
    Both the English and French governments established prime meridians in their capitals.
  2. First in excellence, quality, or value.
    This is a prime location for a bookstore.
  3. Having no integral factors except itself and unity (1 in the case of integers).
    Thirteen is a prime number.
  4. First in importance, degree, or rank.
    Our prime concern here is to keep the community safe.
  5. Having its complement closed under multiplication: said only of ideals.
first in time, order, or sequence
first in excellence, quality, or value
mathematics: Having its complement closed under multiplication
  • Japanese: 素な


  1. the earliest stage
  2. the most active, thriving, or successful stage or period
  3. the chief or best individual or part
  4. The first note or tone of a musical scale.
  5. The first defensive position, with the sword hand held at head height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
  6. In the context of "algebra|number theory": A prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number.
    3 is a prime.
  7. Six consecutive blocks, which prevent the opponent's pieces from passing.
    I'm threatening to build a prime here.
earliest stage
  • Danish: begyndelse
  • Italian: inizi, principio
  • Japanese: 最初, 初期, 原始
  • Old English: fruma
  • Swedish: början
most active, thriving, or successful stage or period
chief or best individual or part
music: first note or tone of a musical scale
  • Czech: prima
  • Dutch: priem
  • Italian: tonale
  • Japanese: 主音
  • Swedish: prim
fencing: first position of thrust and parry
  • Swedish: prim
algebra: prime element of a mathematical structure
backgammon: six consecutive blocks
  • Czech: prima

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain; perhaps related to primage.


  1. To prepare a mechanism for its main work.
    You'll have to press this button twice to prime the fuel pump.
  2. To apply a coat of primer paint to.
    I need to prime these handrails before we can apply the finish coat.
to prepare a mechanism
to apply a coat of primer paint to

Derived terms




  1. bounty (reward)



prime f plural
  1. feminine plural of primo





Extensive Definition

Prime can refer to:
  • Prime number, a natural number which is only divisible by 1 and itself
  • Prime (symbol), the ′ mark
  • Prime (liturgy), a liturgical office (service or ceremony)
  • Prime element, in the integral domain of mathematics
  • Prime form in music
  • Prime ideal, subset of a ring in mathematics
  • Prime knot, a knot that cannot be written as the knot sum of two nontrivial knots
  • Prime lens, having a fixed focal length
  • Prime 3-manifold, a 3-manifold that cannot be written as the connect sum of two nontrivial 3-manifolds.
  • Prime model, a model as simple as possible in mathematical model theory
  • Prime rate
  • Prime time
  • Prime (lending market sector), within which lending product providors are focused on selling products (mortgage, loan or credit card) to the individual who is high-value and/or has a good credit history - as opposed to the subprime market sector.
  • Prime Minister, the highest Executive Office with real powers in certain governments

Popular culture and trademarks


Television networks

Prime TV can refer to one of the following television channels:
prime in Danish: Prim
prime in German: Prime (Begriffsklärung)
prime in French: Prime
prime in Dutch: Prime

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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