: being the preferred, standard, or first choice
first-line treatment of tuberculosis
compare second-line

Examples of first-line in a Sentence

surgery is usually not considered a first-line treatment for this type of cancer
Recent Examples on the Web Metformin is a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes in adults and children aged 10 and above. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 15 Apr. 2024 The medications can be used along previous first-line treatments for migraine. Syeda Khaula Saad, Verywell Health, 3 Apr. 2024 Your first-line defense Doctors recommend first trying to limit your exposure to whatever is triggering an allergic response — for example, tree pollen in the spring. Nina Agrawal, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2024 If first-line constipation remedies, including increasing dietary fiber, hydration, gentle movement, and toileting position, do not help, speak with a healthcare provider before trying an oral supplement, as not all are safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Suzanne Finkel, Verywell Health, 25 Mar. 2024 That includes junior first-line winger Jack Stanius and top-tier defenseman Blake Eckerle. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 6 Mar. 2024 Companies usually need such a system to operate as a first-line customer support bot for end users. Stoyan Mitov, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 Just a week ago, only Brodin and Zuccarello were sidelined from the group that includes two first-line wings, the most experienced pair of blue-liners and their primary netminder. Dave Campbell, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2024 Common antibiotics like gentamicin and fluoroquinolones are first-line treatment for plague, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'first-line.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of first-line was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near first-line

Cite this Entry

“First-line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/first-line. Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


: being the preferred, standard, or first choice
first-line treatment of advanced breast cancer
compare second-line
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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