1

prime

noun \ ˈprīm \
Updated on: 7 Nov 2017

Definition of prime

1 a often capitalized :the second of the canonical hours
b :the first hour of the day usually considered either as 6 a.m. or the hour of sunrise
2 a :the earliest stage
b :spring
c :youth
3 :the most active, thriving, or satisfying stage or period
  • in the prime of his life
4 :the chief or best individual or part :pick
  • prime of the flock, and choicest of the stall
  • —Alexander Pope
6 a :the first note or tone of a musical scale :tonic
b :the interval between two notes on the same staff degree
7 :the symbol ′ used to distinguish arbitrary characters (such as a and a′), to indicate a specific unit (such as feet or minutes of time or angular measure), or to indicate the derivative of a function (such as p′ or f′(x)) — compare double prime

Examples of prime in a Sentence

  1. young college graduates in the prime of life

  2. The interest rate is two percent plus prime.

Recent Examples of prime from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of prime

Middle English, from Old English prīm, from Latin prima hora first hour

Other Calendar Terms


2

prime

adjective

Definition of prime

1 :first in time :original
2 a :of, relating to, or being a prime number — compare relatively prime
b :having no polynomial factors other than itself and no monomial factors other than 1
  • a prime polynomial
c :expressed as a product of prime factors (such as prime numbers and prime polynomials)
  • a prime factorization
3 a :first in rank, authority, or significance :principal
  • a prime example
b :having the highest quality or value
  • prime farmland
c :of the highest grade regularly marketed used of meat and especially beef
4 :not deriving from something else :primary

primely

adverb

primeness

noun

Examples of prime in a Sentence

  1. The wine industry is of prime importance to the California economy.

  2. The police have not yet named the prime suspect in the murder investigation.

  3. The house is expensive because it's in a prime location.

Recent Examples of prime from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of prime

Middle English, from Anglo-French, feminine of prim first, from Latin primus; akin to Latin prior


3

prime

verb

Definition of prime

primed; priming
transitive verb
1 :fill, load
2 a :to prepare for firing by supplying with priming
b :to insert a primer into (a cartridge case)
3 :to apply the first color, coating, or preparation to
  • prime a wall
4 a :to put into working order by filling or charging with something
  • prime a pump with water
b :to supply with an essential prerequisite (such as a hormone, nucleic acid, or antigen) for chemical or biological activity
  • primed female mice with estrogen
5 :to instruct beforehand :coach
  • primed the witness
intransitive verb
:to become prime
prime the pump
:to take steps to encourage the growth or functioning of something

Examples of prime in a Sentence

  1. She was obviously primed for the questions at the press conference.

  2. Both teams are primed for battle and ready to play.

  3. We sanded and primed the woodwork before painting.

Recent Examples of prime from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of prime

probably from 1prime


Financial Definition of PRIME

prime

What It Is

In the finance world, prime is short for prime rate, which is the interest rate commercial banks charge their most creditworthy customers, which are usually corporations.

How It Works

Anyone who has borrowed money knows that different banks charge different interest rates. So when people refer to the prime rate, they are usually referring to the average prime rate among banks. The Wall Street Journal is the most common source for this statistic. It calculates the average prime rate by surveying the 30 largest banks in the U.S. Below is a sample graph of the historical average prime rate published by the Federal Reserve, which surveys 25 banks across the nation.

In general, the rate is the same among nearly all the surveyed banks, and they tend to change their rates at the same time. When 75% of these banks (23 banks) change their rates, The Wall Street Journal changes its average.

Why It Matters

Prime is one of the most widely used market indicators, albeit a lagging one, and it is a major benchmark for mortgage and credit card rates. It is often the basis for adjustable-rate loans. For example, if a bank is offering a home equity loan at “prime plus 5” and its prime rate is 6%, then the bank is essentially offering borrowers an 11% loan (6% + 5%) whose interest rate will fluctuate with the prime rate. It is important to remember that not everyone qualifies for prime -- this rate is only for customers least likely to default.



PRIME Defined for English Language Learners

prime

noun

Definition of prime for English Language Learners

  • : the period in life when a person is best in health, strength, etc. : the most active or successful time of a person's life


prime

adjective

Definition of prime for English Language Learners

  • : most important

  • : of the highest quality or value

  • —used to say that someone or something is a very good example of a particular kind of person or thing


prime

verb

Definition of prime for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) ready to do something

  • : to make (something) ready for use

  • : to cover (a surface) with special paint in order to prepare it for the final layer of paint


PRIME Defined for Kids

1

prime

noun \ ˈprīm \

Definition of prime for Students

:the period in life when a person is best in health, looks, or strength

2

prime

adjective

Definition of prime for Students

:first in importance, rank, or quality
  • Spring is a prime season to work outdoors.

3

prime

verb

Definition of prime for Students

primed; priming
1 :to put a first color or coating on
  • Prime the wall before painting.
2 :to put into working order by filling
  • prime a pump
3 :to make (someone or something) ready
  • The coach is priming him to be quarterback.

Law Dictionary

1

prime

noun

legal Definition of prime


2

prime

transitive verb

legal Definition of prime

primed; priming
:to have priority over
  • a perfected security interest primes an unperfected one


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