1 of 2


: of the first order of size, importance, or quality
first-rateness noun
first-rater noun


2 of 2


: very well
is getting along first-rateMark Twain

Examples of first-rate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley agrees that For All Mankind is a first-rate work of science fiction. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2024 Orion only had to be a decent enough take on a boy overcoming his status as a first-rate scaredy cat and realizing that the world isn’t all worst-case scenarios. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2024 Texas has first-rate museums in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 1 Feb. 2024 Saban has long been recognized as having a first-rate football mind. Brian O'Keefe, Fortune, 11 Jan. 2024 Lots of dining options, all of which are first-rate. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 That first-rate roster of restaurants includes relative newcomers like The Longboard and Sullivan's Fish Camp — which opened in 2021 and 2022, respectively — as well as infallible favorites like High Thyme, Home Team BBQ, and Poe’s Tavern. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 28 Jan. 2024 But the 15-game winning streak, while impressive in length, was notably lacking in what the Hotline would consider first-rate victories. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 18 Jan. 2024 And one of Frida Kahlo’s few first-rate paintings, The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, from 1939, is at the museum. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 13 Jan. 2024
The sushi is first-rate and the creative rolls include the Rainbow which manages to contains tuna, salmon, hamachi, shrimp and avocado. Sherrie Nachman, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 The island is known for its outdoor experiences, including first-rate scuba diving at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort, kayaking Salt Lake in Vatudamu, and hiking to see Maroroya Falls. Adrienne Jordan, Travel + Leisure, 3 Mar. 2023 In a career that stretched across more than six decades, Shorter established himself as a singular tenor and soprano saxophonist, brilliant composer, fearless improviser and first-rate band leader. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2023 Casting is also first-rate, with a string of vivid performances by actors who are not household names but who all meet the demands of their roles. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Feb. 2023 The concept is tried and tested: top-notch classic Italian dishes made from first-rate produce. Isabelle Kliger, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023 Alongside them in the chute will be a competitive cluster of first-rate mushers with plenty of top-10 finishes each, including Jessie Royer, Wade Marrs, Richie Diehl, Matt Hall, Mille Porsild and Jessie Holmes. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Feb. 2023 United by a love of the region’s first-rate produce, this community of chefs, restaurateurs, and hoteliers is equally committed to supporting one another. Eliza Dumais, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Feb. 2023 Careful site planning means that walking among these ruins really does feel like stepping into the past, and the adjacent archaeological museum is first-rate. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'first-rate.' 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


1674, in the meaning defined above


1844, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of first-rate was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near first-rate

Cite this Entry

“First-rate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: of the first order of size, importance, or quality
first-rate adverb

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