in the first place

idiom

Definition of in the first place

1 used at the end of a sentence to indicate what was true or what should have been done at the beginning of a situationWe should never have gone there in the first place.I didn't care much for the job in the first place.
2 used when listing the most important parts of something or the most important reasons for somethingI'm not going to tell you because, in the first place, it's none of your business, and in the second place, you would tell everyone else.

Learn More about in the first place

Statistics for in the first place

Cite this Entry

“In the first place.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/in%20the%20first%20place. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Comments on in the first place

What made you want to look up in the first place? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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