: being a regular as distinguished from a substitute (as on a team)
first-stringer noun

Examples of first-string in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Darnold lost that finale against the Rams 21-20 as the 49ers pulled their first-string unit, dropping his record as an NFL starter to 21-35, the crux of which came his first three seasons as the New York Jets’ No. 3 overall pick in 2018. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 12 Mar. 2024 Now this starting group is piling up good vs. good reps against the first-string defense. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2023 Is there any correlation between teams that played their first-string players in preseason games and Week 1 victories? — FoodyGuy, via Twitter Interesting question. Christopher Price, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2023 However, freshman Malik Hartford worked with the first-string defense in the 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 portions. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023 Again, the Ravens haven’t played their first-string defenders yet, but Washington quarterback Sam Howell and Tampa Bay’s Kyle Trask were pretty impressive against Baltimore in the past two preseason games. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 29 Aug. 2023 The bigger question remains how much of a role a third running back might have with the first-string offense. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 24 Aug. 2023 Offensive line coach Justin Frye will start auditioning potential starters after losing three first-string guys from last year's team. Mitch Stacy, ajc, 6 Mar. 2023

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

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of first-string was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near first-string

Cite this Entry

“First-string.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/first-string. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!