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

Adjective wanted a first-rate bike and not the cheap model she had been using
Recent Examples on the Web
The cast is first-rate, pairing hot young stars like Adam Driver and Aubrey Plaza with Coppola veterans Laurence Fishburne and Giancarlo Esposito, though their performances are oddly cartoonish. Peter Debruge, Variety, 16 May 2024 And all of it was delivered by a band of first-rate players — founding members Cory Lerios on keyboards and David Jenkins on vocals and guitar as well as bassist Larry Antonino, drummer Sergio Gonzalez and vocalist Robbie Wyckoff. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 10 May 2024 There’s no way to revive old forms or to rework old forms, because the artist is never going to understand them well enough to do first-rate work. Anna Kodé, New York Times, 29 Apr. 2024 Coach Leon Rice quietly does a first-rate job, year after year. 6. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 10 Apr. 2024 The cuisine is first-rate, with Chef Roland Lamprecht’s fare drawn from the surrounding forest. Jemima Sissons, Condé Nast Traveler, 9 Apr. 2024 The crew, obviously putting forward their best effort during the inaugural flight, were first-rate, the food was excellent, and the seating worked well considering the length of the trip. Rachel Dube, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2024 This venture reflects Ryan's dedication to first-rate customer service and his adaptability in the digital realm. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2024 Chun has a stellar track record for hiring coaches, possesses first-rate fundraising chops and understands the roiling college sports landscape as well as anyone from his work on the NCAA transformation committee. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 26 Mar. 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

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 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on first-rate

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