in the first place

idiom

1
used at the end of a sentence to indicate what was true or what should have been done at the beginning of a situation
We 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 something
I'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.

Examples of in the first place in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At one point, Trump claimed that some Democrats would be reluctant to elevate Harris − and that's why Biden picked her in the first place. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 10 July 2024 Traffic snarls constantly, leading to an increase in air pollution — completely negating one of the reasons the bus lanes were installed in the first place. Patrick O'Connor, New York Daily News, 9 July 2024 High levels of wind shear can tear apart an active storm or prevent one from forming in the first place. Mary Gilbert, CNN, 9 July 2024 Equally important to our democracy, however, is the need for more independent and diverse candidates on the ballot in the first place. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for in the first place 

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

Dictionary Entries Near 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 17 Jul. 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!