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first Idioms & Phrases


A buck of the first head

  • a male fallow deer in its fifth year, when it attains its complete set of antlers. Shak.
Webster 1913

At first, At the first

  • at the beginning or origin.
Webster 1913

At first blush

  • adverb as a first impression
    at first blush.
    • at first blush the offer seemed attractive
WordNet
  • . See under Blush.
Webster 1913

At first blush, or At the first blush

  • at the first appearance or view. "At the first blush, we thought they had been ships come from France." Hakluyt. This phrase is used now more of ideas, opinions, etc., than of material things. "All purely identical propositions, obviously, and at first blush, appear." etc. Locke.
Webster 1913

at first glance

  • adverb immediately
    at first glance.
    • it was love at first sight
WordNet

At first hand

  • adverb from the original source; directly
    firsthand.
    • I heard this story firsthand
WordNet
  • from the first or original source; without the intervention of any agent.
    It is the intention of the person to reveal it at first hand, by way of mouth, to yourself. Dickens.
Webster 1913

At first hand, At second hand

  • . See def. 10 (above).
Webster 1913

at first sight

  • adverb immediately
    at first glance.
    • it was love at first sight
WordNet

Court of first instance

  • the court by which a case is first tried.
Webster 1913

double first

  • noun a first-class honours degree in two subjects
WordNet
Dou"ble first`
Definitions
  1. (Eng. Universities) (a) A degree of the first class both in classics and mathematics. (b) One who gains at examinations the highest honor both in the classics and the mathematics. Beaconsfield.
Webster 1913

euclid's first axiom

  • noun a straight line can be drawn between any two points
WordNet

First fruit ∨ fruits

  • . (a) The fruits of the season earliest gathered. (b) (Feudal Law) One year's profits of lands belonging to the king on the death of a tenant who held directly from him. (c) (Eng. Eccl. Law) The first year's whole profits of a benefice or spiritual living. (d) The earliest effects or results.
    See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung From thy implanted grace in man! Milton.
Webster 1913

first aid

  • noun emergency care given before regular medical aid can be obtained
WordNet

first amendment

  • noun an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and freedom of religion and freedom of speech
WordNet

first and last

  • adverb taking everything together
    above all.
    • she was first and last a scientist
WordNet

first appearance

  • noun the act of beginning something new
    unveiling; introduction; debut; entry; launching.
    • they looked forward to the debut of their new product line
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first balcony

  • noun first or lowest balcony
    mezzanine.
WordNet

first baron beveridge

  • noun British economist (born in India) whose report on social insurance provided the basis for most of the social legislation on which the welfare state in the United Kingdom is based (1879-1963)
    Beveridge; William Henry Beveridge.
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first baron kelvin

  • noun British physicist who invented the Kelvin scale of temperature and pioneered undersea telegraphy (1824-1907)
    Kelvin; William Thompson.
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first baron lytton

  • noun English writer of historical romances (1803-1873)
    Lytton; Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton; Bulwer-Lytton.
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first baron macaulay

  • noun English historian noted for his history of England (1800-1859)
    Macaulay; Lord Macaulay; Thomas Babington Macaulay.
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first baron marks of broughton

  • noun English businessman who created a retail chain (1888-1964)
    Simon Marks; Marks.
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first baron passfield

  • noun English sociologist and economist and a central member of the Fabian Society (1859-1947)
    Webb; Sidney Webb; Sidney James Webb.
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first baron rutherford

  • noun British physicist (born in New Zealand) who discovered the atomic nucleus and proposed a nuclear model of the atom (1871-1937)
    First Baron Rutherford; Rutherford; Ernest Rutherford.
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first baron rutherford of nelson

  • noun British physicist (born in New Zealand) who discovered the atomic nucleus and proposed a nuclear model of the atom (1871-1937)
    First Baron Rutherford; Rutherford; Ernest Rutherford.
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first baron tennyson

  • noun Englishman and Victorian poet (1809-1892)
    Alfred Tennyson; Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson.
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first base

  • noun the base that must be touched first by a base runner in baseball
  • noun the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first of the bases in the infield (counting counterclockwise from home plate)
    first.
  • noun the initial stage in accomplishing something
    • we didn't get to first base with that approach
WordNet

first baseman

  • noun (baseball) the person who plays first base
    first baseman.
WordNet

first battle of ypres

  • noun battle in World War I (1914); heavy but indecisive fighting as the Allies and the Germans both tried to break through the lines of the others
    Ypres; battle of Ypres.
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first blush

  • noun at the first glimpse or impression
    • at first blush the idea possesses considerable intuitive appeal but on closer examination it fails
WordNet

first cause

  • noun an agent that is the cause of all things but does not itself have a cause
    primum mobile; prime mover.
    • God is the first cause
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first class

  • noun the highest rank in a classification
  • noun mail that includes letters and postcards and packages sealed against inspection
    1st class; first class; 1st-class mail.
  • noun the most expensive accommodations on a ship or train or plane
  • adverb by first class conveyance; with first class accommodations
    • we always travel first class
WordNet

First coat

  • (Plastering), the solid foundation of coarse stuff, on which the rest is placed; it is thick, and crossed with lines, so as to give a bond for the next coat.
Webster 1913

first council of constantinople

  • noun the second ecumenical council in 381 which added wording about the Holy Spirit to the Nicene Creed
    Constantinople.
WordNet

first council of lyons

  • noun the council of the Western Church in 1245 that excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and planned a new crusade against the Holy Land
    Lyons.
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first council of nicaea

  • noun the first ecumenical council in 325 which produced the wording of the Nicene Creed and condemned the heresy of Arianism
    Nicaea.
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first cousin

  • noun the child of your aunt or uncle
    cousin; cousin-german; full cousin.
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first cranial nerve

  • noun a collective term for numerous olfactory filaments in the nasal mucosa
    olfactory nerve; nervii olfactorii.
WordNet

first crusade

  • noun a Crusade from 1096 to 1099; captured Jerusalem and created a theocracy there
WordNet

First day

  • Sunday; so called by the Friends.
Webster 1913

first degree

  • noun a degree of one
    • all of the terms in a linear equation are of the first degree
WordNet

first derivative

  • noun the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx
    derivative; derived function; differential; differential coefficient.
WordNet

first duke of marlborough

  • noun English general considered one of the greatest generals in history (1650-1722)
    Duke of Marlborough; John Churchill; Churchill.
WordNet

first duke of wellington

  • noun British general and statesman; he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo; subsequently served as Prime Minister (1769-1852)
    Iron Duke; Duke of Wellington; Wellington; Arthur Wellesley.
WordNet

first earl kitchener of khartoum

  • noun British field marshal (1850-1916)
    Horatio Herbert Kitchener; Kitchener; Herbert Kitchener.
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first earl of beaconsfield

  • noun British statesman who as Prime Minister bought controlling interest in the Suez Canal and made Queen Victoria the empress of India (1804-1881)
    Disraeli; Benjamin Disraeli.
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first earl of chatham

  • noun English statesman who brought the Seven Years' War to an end (1708-1778)
    Pitt the Elder; Pitt; William Pitt.
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first earl of orford

  • noun Englishman and Whig statesman who (under George I) was effectively the first British prime minister (1676-1745)
    Sir Robert Walpole; Walpole; Robert Walpole.
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first earl wavell

  • noun British field marshal in North Africa in World War II; he defeated the Italians before being defeated by the Germans (1883-1950)
    Archibald Percival Wavell; Wavell.
WordNet

first epistle of john

  • noun the first New Testament epistle traditionally attributed to Saint John the Apostle
    I John.
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first epistle of paul the apostle to the corinthians

  • noun a New Testament book containing the first epistle from Saint Paul to the church at Corinth
    First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians; I Corinthians.
WordNet

first epistle of paul the apostle to the thessalonians

  • noun a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians
    I Thessalonians; First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.
WordNet

first epistle of paul the apostle to timothy

  • noun a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to Timothy; contains advice on pastoral matters
    First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy; I Timothy.
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first epistle of peter

  • noun the first New Testament book traditionally attributed to Saint Peter the Apostle
    I Peter.
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first epistle to the corinthians

  • noun a New Testament book containing the first epistle from Saint Paul to the church at Corinth
    First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians; I Corinthians.
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first epistle to the thessalonians

  • noun a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians
    I Thessalonians; First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.
WordNet

first epistle to timothy

  • noun a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to Timothy; contains advice on pastoral matters
    First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy; I Timothy.
WordNet

first estate

  • noun the clergy in France and the heads of the church in Britain
    Lords Spiritual.
WordNet

First floor

  • noun the floor of a building that is at or nearest to the level of the ground around the building
    ground floor; ground level.
WordNet
  • . (a) The ground floor. U.S. (b) The floor next above the ground floor. Eng.
Webster 1913

first gear

  • noun the lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving
    low gear; low; first.
WordNet

first half

  • noun the first of two halves of play
WordNet

first harmonic

  • noun the lowest tone of a harmonic series
    fundamental; fundamental frequency.
WordNet

first in first out

  • noun inventory accounting in which the oldest items (those first acquired) are assumed to be the first sold
    FIFO.
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first lady

  • noun the leading woman in an art or profession
  • noun the wife of a chief executive
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first language

  • noun one's native language; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next
    maternal language; mother tongue.
WordNet

first lateran council

  • noun the first council of the Western Church held in the Lateran Palace in 1123; focused on church discipline and made plans to recover the Holy Lands from the Muslim `infidels'
WordNet

first law of motion

  • noun a body remains at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force
    first law of motion; Newton's first law.
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first law of thermodynamics

  • noun the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
    conservation of energy; law of conservation of energy.
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first lieutenant

  • noun a commissioned officer in the Army or Air Force or Marines ranking above a 2nd lieutenant and below a captain
    1st lieutenant.
WordNet

first light

  • noun the first light of day
    sunup; daybreak; break of day; dawning; aurora; morning; break of the day; dayspring; dawn; cockcrow; sunrise.
    • we got up before dawn
    • they talked until morning
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first lord of the treasury

  • noun the British cabinet minister responsible for economic strategy
    Treasury.
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first marquess cornwallis

  • noun commander of the British forces in the American War of Independence; was defeated by American and French troops at Yorktown (1738-1805)
    Cornwallis; Charles Cornwallis.
WordNet

First mate

  • noun the officer below the master on a commercial ship
    mate.
WordNet
  • an officer in a merchant vessel next in rank to the captain.
Webster 1913

first moment

  • noun the sum of the values of a random variable divided by the number of values
    expected value; expectation; arithmetic mean.
WordNet

first mortgage

  • noun a mortgage that has priority over all mortgages and liens except those imposed by law
WordNet

First name

  • noun the name that precedes the surname
    given name; forename.
WordNet
  • same as Christian name. See under Name, n.
Webster 1913

first of all

  • adverb before anything else
    firstly; foremost; first of all; first.
    • first we must consider the garter snake
WordNet

first of may

  • noun observed in many countries to celebrate the coming of spring; observed in Russia and related countries in honor of labor
    May 1; May Day.
WordNet

first of october antifascist resistance group

  • noun an armed wing of the (illegal) Communist Party of Spain; seeks to overthrow the Spanish government and replace it with a Marxist-Leninist regime
    GRAPO.
    • GRAPO is vehemently opposed to the United States
WordNet

first off

  • adverb before anything else
    firstly; foremost; first of all; first.
    • first we must consider the garter snake
WordNet

first offender

  • noun someone convicted for the first time
WordNet

First officer

  • (Naut.), in the merchant service, same as First mate (above).
Webster 1913

First or last

  • at one time or another; at the beginning or end.
Webster 1913

first period

  • noun the first division into which the play of a game is divided
WordNet

first person

  • noun pronouns and verbs used to refer to the speaker or writer of the language in which they occur
WordNet

first principle

  • noun the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)
    ABC; rudiment; first principle; alphabet; ABC's; ABCs.
    • he mastered only the rudiments of geometry
WordNet

first quarter

  • noun the first fourth of the Moon's period of revolution around the Earth
WordNet

first reading

  • noun the first presentation of a bill in a legislature
WordNet

first rudiment

  • noun the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)
    ABC; rudiment; first principle; alphabet; ABC's; ABCs.
    • he mastered only the rudiments of geometry
WordNet

first sacker

  • noun (baseball) the person who plays first base
    first baseman.
WordNet

First sergeant

  • noun a sergeant in the Army above the rank of staff sergeant and below master sergeant
    first sergeant.
WordNet
  • (Mil.), the ranking non-commissioned officer in a company; the orderly sergeant. Farrow.
Webster 1913

first state

  • noun a Mid-Atlantic state; one of the original 13 colonies
    Diamond State; Delaware; DE.
WordNet

first step

  • noun the first of a series of actions
    opening move; initiative; opening.
WordNet

first stomach

  • noun the first compartment of the stomach of a ruminant; here food is collected and returned to the mouth as cud for chewing
    rumen.
WordNet

first strike

  • noun the initial use of nuclear weapons to attack a country that also has nuclear weapons; considered feasible only when the attacker can destroy the other country's ability to retaliate
    • the Pakistani president promised no first strike against India
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first team

  • noun a team representing a college or university
    varsity.
WordNet

first trimester

  • noun time period extending from the first day of the last menstrual period through 12 weeks of gestation
WordNet

first vatican council

  • noun the Vatican Council in 1869-1870 that proclaimed the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra
    Vatican I.
WordNet

first viscount haldane of cloan

  • noun Scottish statesman and brother of Elizabeth and John Haldane (1856-1928)
    Haldane; Richard Burdon Haldane; Richard Haldane.
WordNet

first viscount nuffield

  • noun British industrialist who manufactured automobiles and created a philanthropic foundation (1877-1963)
    Nuffield; William Richard Morris.
WordNet

first visual area

  • noun the part of the occipital cortex that receives the fibers of the optic radiation from the lateral geniculate body and is the primary receptive area for vision
    Brodmann's area 17; striate cortex; area 17 of Brodmann; striate area.
WordNet

First watch

  • (Naut.), the watch from eight to twelve at midnight; also, the men on duty during that time.
Webster 1913

First water

  • noun the highest quality gems
WordNet
  • the highest quality or purest luster; said of gems, especially of diamond and pearls.
Webster 1913

first world war

  • noun a war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) from 1914 to 1918
    World War I; World War 1; War to End War; Great War.
WordNet

first-aid kit

  • noun kit consisting of a set of bandages and medicines for giving first aid
WordNet

first-aid station

  • noun a station providing emergency care or treatment before regular medical aid can be obtained
WordNet

first-class

  • adjective satellite very good; of the highest quality
    fantabulous; splendid; excellent.
    • made an excellent speech
    • the school has excellent teachers
    • a first-class mind
WordNet
First"-class` adjective
Definitions
  1. Of the best class; of the highest rank; in the first division; of the best quality; first-rate; as, a first-class telescope.
Webster 1913

first-class honours degree

  • noun an honours degree of the highest class
    first.
WordNet

first-class mail

  • noun mail that includes letters and postcards and packages sealed against inspection
    1st class; first class; 1st-class mail.
WordNet

first-come-first-serve

  • adjective satellite not accepting reservations
    rush.
WordNet

first-degree burn

  • noun burn causing redness of the skin surface
WordNet

first-hand

First"-hand` adjective
Definitions
  1. Obtained directly from the first or original source; hence, without the intervention of an agent.
    One sphere there is . . . where the apprehension of him is first-hand and direct; and that is the sphere of our own mind. J. Martineau.
Webster 1913

first-nighter

  • noun someone habitually a spectator at the openings of theatrical productions
WordNet

first-order correlation

  • noun a partial correlation in which the effects of only one variable are removed (held constant)
WordNet

first-place finish

  • noun a finish in first place (as in a race)
WordNet

first-rate

  • adjective satellite of the highest quality
    ace; tops; topnotch; A-one; top-notch; crack; tiptop; super.
    • an ace reporter
    • a crack shot
    • a first-rate golfer
    • a super party
    • played top-notch tennis
    • an athlete in tiptop condition
    • she is absolutely tops
  • adverb quite well
    very well.
    • she doesn't feel first-rate today
WordNet
First"-rate` adjective
Definitions
  1. Of the highest excellence; preëminent in quality, size, or estimation.
    Our only first-rate body of contemporary poetry is the German. M. Arnold.
    Hermocrates . . . a man of first-rate ability. Jowett (Thucyd).
First"-rate` noun
Definitions
  1. (Naut.) A war vessel of the highest grade or the most powerful class.
Webster 1913

first-rater

  • noun one who is first-rate
WordNet

first-string

  • adjective satellite of members of a team; not substitutes
  • adjective satellite being a regular member of a team
    • first-string players
WordNet

first-year

  • adjective satellite used of a person in the first year of an experience (especially in United States high school or college)
    freshman.
    • a freshman senator
    • freshman year in high school or college
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for the first time

  • adverb the initial time
    first.
    • when Felix first saw a garter snake
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forty-first

  • adjective satellite the ordinal number of forty-one in counting order
    41st.
WordNet

hundred-and-first

  • adjective satellite the ordinal number of one hundred one in counting order
    101st.
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in the first place

  • adverb before now
    in the beginning; originally; earlier; to begin with.
    • why didn't you tell me in the first place?
  • adverb of primary import
    primarily.
    • this is primarily a question of economics
    • it was in the first place a local matter
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kepler's first law

  • noun a law stating that the orbit of each planet is an ellipse with the sun at one focus of the ellipse
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last in first out

  • noun inventory accounting in which the most recently acquired items are assumed to be the first sold
    LIFO.
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newton's first law

  • noun a body remains at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force
    first law of motion; Newton's first law.
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newton's first law of motion

  • noun a body remains at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force
    first law of motion; Newton's first law.
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right of first publication

  • noun a document granting exclusive right to publish and sell literary or musical or artistic work
    copyright.
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sergeant first class

  • noun a sergeant in the Army above the rank of staff sergeant and below master sergeant
    first sergeant.
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thirty-first

  • adjective satellite coming next after the thirtieth in position
    31st.
WordNet

To heal by the first intention

  • (Surg.), to cicatrize, as a wound, without suppuration.
Webster 1913

twenty-first

  • adjective satellite coming next after the twentieth in position
    21st.
WordNet

Union by the first, ∨ second, intention

  • . (Surg.) See To heal by the first, ∨ second, intention, under Intention.
Webster 1913

when first seen

  • adverb as a first impression
    at first blush.
    • at first blush the offer seemed attractive
WordNet

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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