first come, first served

variants: or first come, first serve

Definition of first come, first served

used to say that the people who arrive earliest get served or treated before the people who arrive later
  • The campsites are first come, first served, so we'd better get there early.
  • The campsites are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • "Aren't there any cookies left?" "Sorry—first come, first served."

Word by Word Definitions

first play
  1. : preceding all others in time, order, or importance: such as

  2. : earliest

  3. : being the lowest forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle

  1. : before another in time, space, or importance

  2. : in the first place

  3. : for the first time

  1. : one that is number one in a series — see Table of Numbers

  2. : something that is first: such as

  3. : the first occurrence or item of a kind

serve play served
  1. : to be a servant

  2. : to do military or naval service

  3. : to assist a celebrant as server at mass

  1. : the act or action of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games (such as volleyball, badminton, or tennis)


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