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

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

5

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

8

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

primed; priming

2

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

6

**:**to become prime

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Merriam-Webster unabridged
## Share