\ ˈprim How to pronounce prim (audio) \
primmed; primming

Definition of prim

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

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


primmer; primmest

Definition of prim (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : stiffly formal and proper : decorous
b : prudish
2 : neat, trim prim hedges

Definition of prim (Entry 3 of 3)

Other Words from prim


primly adverb
primness noun

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 Accessorize with a baroque pearl bracelet from Missoma, some patent leather Roger Vivier flats, and a prim black top-handle bag from Amina Muaddi. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 6 Apr. 2022 Her best friend is Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), daughter of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Hand of the King, who is prim and proper in all the ways Rhaenyra is flippant and free-spirited. Randall Colburn,, 22 Aug. 2022 Carson is prim and proper, while Max, a Black woman, feels trapped. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 12 Aug. 2022 Silver Bob Actress and singer Hyeri's iteration of gray hair is in the form of a silver bob that's prim and polished. Wendy Sy, Allure, 28 July 2022 Still others highlighted Felicity Merriman, a feisty tomboy from colonial Virginia, and Samantha Parkington, a prim and proper Victorian girl. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 July 2022 Mae is a Canadian comedian living in present-day Manchester, UK, and George is a more prim, proper, middle-class woman. Katherine Singh,, 27 June 2022 This hassle-free staple is designed to keep you looking prim and polished no matter the distance. Karla Pope, Woman's Day, 24 May 2022 Wearing a prim white dress and black cardigan and with her hair pulled back in a bun, Heard addressed the jury for more than six hours, relaying a series of disturbing anecdotes that allegedly took place from 2014 to 2016. Tatiana Siegel, Rolling Stone, 5 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of prim


1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for prim


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.


derivative of or akin to prim entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Prim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for prim


\ ˈprim How to pronounce prim (audio) \
primmer; primmest

Kids Definition of prim

: very formal and proper

Other Words from prim

primly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prim

Nglish: Translation of prim for Spanish Speakers


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