pre·​mier | \ pri-ˈmir How to pronounce premier (audio) , -ˈmyir, -ˈmē-ər; ˈprē-ˌmir How to pronounce premier (audio) , -ˌmyir, -ˌmē-ər, ˈpre- \

Definition of premier

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : first in position, rank, or importance
2 : first in time : earliest



Definition of premier (Entry 2 of 3)


pre·​mier | \ pri-ˈmyer How to pronounce premier (audio) , -ˈmir How to pronounce premier (audio) , -ˈmē-ər; ˌpri-mē-ˈer \

Definition of premier (Entry 3 of 3)

less common spelling of premiere entry 2

intransitive verb

1 : to have a first public performance
2 : to appear for the first time as a star performer

transitive verb

: to give a first public performance of

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from premier


premiership \ pri-​ˈmir-​ˌship How to pronounce premier (audio) , -​ˈmyir-​ , -​ˈmē-​ər-​ ; ˈprē-​ˌmir-​ , -​ˌmyir-​ , -​ˌmē-​ər-​ , ˈpre-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for premier

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of premier in a Sentence

Adjective a space shuttle on its premier voyage the premier authority on butterflies
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Walensky will be the third woman to lead the country's premier public health agency -- and during a pivotal time, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cripple the US and vaccinations get underway. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Get to know Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Biden's CDC director pick," 8 Dec. 2020 The Raymond James Stadium in Tampa saw a shootout between two of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL and fans were treated to a quarterback clinic from Mahomes, who threw for 462 yards, three touchdowns and finished with a passer rating of 124.7. Calum Trenaman, CNN, "Tom Brady loses battle against reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes," 30 Nov. 2020 The milestone — more than a century in the making — allows the league to make a social statement in addition to serving up a premier matchup when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Los Angeles Rams. Editors, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus pandemic, election results in Michigan, California stabbing: 5 things to know Monday," 23 Nov. 2020 One, a havoc-wreaking 20-year-old, already overpowering and outmaneuvering premier big men less than 25 games into his career. Scott Kushner,, "Kushner: Pelicans' Ingram, Williamson reign supreme," 3 Dec. 2020 Kong has lost a marquee tech conference to Kuala Lumpur, raising new questions about the Chinese territory's ability to retain its status as Asia's premier global business hub in the wake of recent political upheaval. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "Hong Kong just lost a splashy tech conference to Kuala Lumpur," 3 Dec. 2020 The premier example of this is ethanol, a climate and policy disaster that Democrats have nonetheless refused to renounce. Charlie Mitchell, The New Republic, "Can Biden Keep His Promise to Make Farms Climate Friendly?," 16 Nov. 2020 The approach is going to be much more along the lines of giving control back to the C.D.C. There’s recognition that the C.D.C. is the premier public health agency in the world. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, "Dr. Céline Gounder, Adviser to Biden, on the Next Covid Attack Plan," 16 Nov. 2020 Clients additionally have access to a premier artist fan club ticketing platform, which provides them with ancillary income and expanded fan contact information with no fee on the ticketing upcharge. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Executive Turntable: Deadmau5 Lords Over Livestream Startup, WEA Has New President," 20 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The premier sent a group of ministers and top officials to negotiate with the Hazara community, leading the mourners to agree to a funeral. Abdul Sattar, Star Tribune, "Pakistani Shiites end protests, hold funeral for 11 miners," 9 Jan. 2021 The premier has also argued that the finalization of the EU divorce will settle the question of Europe that has dominated British politics. Joe Mayes,, "Britain leaps into unknown with split from EU at critical moment," 2 Jan. 2021 But in a sign of trouble for the premier, almost the same proportion — 36% — chose Likud breakaway politician Saar, a former interior and education minister. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "As Israel faces 4th election in 2 years, Netanyahu is in the hot seat again," 28 Dec. 2020 The state premier gave a press conference, often with the Chief Medical Officer every day for 120 days, outlining what was happening and why. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "2020’s 20 most-commented stories," 25 Dec. 2020 The former premier received a prison sentence, but died while his case was still on appeal. Isabel Reynolds,, "Former Japan PM Abe Avoids Charges Over Cherry Blossom Parties," 24 Dec. 2020 The premier called on Canada's federal government to close borders to mitigate the spread from travelers. Lauren Del Valle, CNN, "Canadian province of Ontario will shut down the day after Christmas," 21 Dec. 2020 The premier announced a new Tier 4 will apply in the hot-spot areas around the capital from Sunday, with all non-essential shops closing, millions of people ordered to stay at home and all foreign travel banned except for essential purposes. Eddie Spence, Fortune, "Boris Johnson imposes an emergency London lockdown to fight a new COVID-19 strain," 19 Dec. 2020 As a schoolboy, Fenech had idolized Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian premier and television magnate. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Murder in Malta," 14 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'premier.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of premier


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for premier


Middle English primer, primier "first in time, first in rank, foremost," borrowed from Anglo-French primer, premer, premyer "first, earliest, most important" (continental Old & Middle French primier, premier), going back to Latin prīmārius "of the highest importance or station (of persons), first-rate, chief" — more at primary entry 1

Note: Since its adoption in late Middle English, this word has shown influence in both pronunciation and spelling from Middle French and French premier.


short for premier minister, after French premier ministre "first minister"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about premier

Time Traveler for premier

Time Traveler

The first known use of premier was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for premier

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Premier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for premier


How to pronounce premier (audio) How to pronounce premier (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of premier

: most important or best


pre·​mier | \ pri-ˈmir How to pronounce premier (audio) , ˈprē-mē-ər \

Kids Definition of premier

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: first in importance, excellence, or rank premier scientists



Kids Definition of premier (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on premier

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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