prim

1 of 3

adjective

primmer; primmest
1
a
: stiffly formal and proper : decorous
b
2
: neat, trim
prim hedges
primly adverb
primness noun

prim

2 of 3

verb

primmed; primming

transitive verb

1
: to give a prim or demure expression to
primming her thin lips after every mouthfulJohn Buchan
2
: to dress primly

prim

3 of 3

abbreviation

Examples of prim in a Sentence

Adjective He has prim views on religion. Her aunts were very prim and proper.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Over centuries, this public relations strategy has generally served them well, maintaining the royals’ prim and proper appearance and general goodwill among the public. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2024 Meri Meri 20-Pack Gingham Small Napkins Buy on Target $7 From the contrasting scalloped edges to the prim gingham pattern to the pale colors, this 20-pack of three-ply paper napkins looks just as fancy as any cloth options. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 15 Mar. 2024 So are a number of posh, prim English types who sound like a cross between Queen Victoria and Mary Poppins — not surprising, given that Blunt has played both roles during her 20-year career, yet still odd to hear in the context of a casual chat. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 25 Feb. 2024 Meri Meri 20-Pack Gingham Small Napkins From the contrasting scalloped edges to the prim gingham pattern to the pale colors, this 20-pack of three-ply paper napkins looks just as fancy as any cloth options. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 15 Mar. 2024 For being the picture of prim and proper Englishness, the royal house of Windsor is also kind of scandal-plagued. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 14 Mar. 2024 And beneath their prim and proper home is a basement full of secrets that may hold the key to the evil that's run amok. Allaire Nuss, EW.com, 30 Aug. 2023 Depending on your styling, the shade can be prim, cheery, sophisticated, carefree, office-ready, or coquettish. Jake Smith, Glamour, 22 Feb. 2024 For more prim and proper accessories, there are simple belts, dainty jewels, and silky neck scarves. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 15 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

derivative of or akin to prim entry 2

Verb

earlier as intransitive verb, "to assume a formal or demure air," of obscure origin

Note: First attested in the comedies of Thomas d'urfey, as Fool's Preferment (1688) and The Marriage-Hater Match'd (1692). Akin in sense to primp, attested earlier, though the verb as well as the adjective primp "(of the mouth) pursed, primly set" are nearly exclusive to Scots and American English.

First Known Use

Adjective

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prim was in 1702

Dictionary Entries Near prim

Cite this Entry

“Prim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prim. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

prim

adjective
ˈprim
primmer; primmest
: very fussy about one's appearance and behavior
primly adverb
primness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on prim

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