1coming before all others in time or order; earliest; 1st:his first wife the first of five daughters many valuable drugs have been recognized first as poisons never previously done or occurring:her first day at school coming or encountered next after a specified or implied time, event, etc.:the first house I came to before doing something else specified or implied:Do you mind if I take a shower first? for the first time:she first picked up a guitar out of sheer boredom informal the first occurrence of something notable:we travelled by air, a first for both of us the first in a sequence of a vehicle’s gears:he stuck the car in first and revved Baseball first base:he made it all the way home from first
chiefly British the first form of a school or college.
2foremost in position, rank, or importance:the doctor’s first duty is to respect this right a first prize of £250 career women who put work first football must come first firstly; in the first place (used to introduce a main point or reason):first, it is wrong that the victims should have no remedy in preference; rather (used when strongly rejecting a suggestion or possibility):she longed to go abroad, but not at this man’s expense—she’d die first! the first finisher or position in a race or competition. [in titles] having precedence over all others of a similar kind:First Lord of the Admiralty British a place in the top grade in an examination, especially that for a degree:chaps with firsts from Oxbridge British a person who has received the top grade in an examination for a degree.
) the best or main team of a sports club: he was asked to play for the firsts
) goods of the best quality:factory firsts, seconds, and discontinued styles
3with a specified part or person in a leading position:the car plunged nose first into the river 4 [often with infinitive] the most pressing, likely, or suitable:his first problem is where to live he is the first to admit he was not the best of patients
5 Music performing the highest or chief of two or more parts for the same instrument or voice:the first violins