prim

verb
\ 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

prim

adjective
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

Adjective

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 The house was a beige Colonial-style four-bedroom with prim hedges and a small, sloping lawn. Lizzie Feidelson, The New Yorker, 7 Jan. 2022 Following Vivienne’s death in 1947, the poet then callously broke the heart of Emily Hale, the recipient of hundreds of letters expressing his prim devotion. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Oben carefully and beautifully found ways to make a prim character warm and strong. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 15 Dec. 2021 The cantilevered circulation ramps fan out with heavy force above prim cubicles of blue and white. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Dec. 2021 Returning will be Parker, as the freewheeling, ambivalently independent freelance writer turned podcaster Carrie; Cynthia Nixon as the no-nonsense attorney Miranda; and Kristin Davis as the winningly prim stay-at-home mom Charlotte. Vogue, 7 Nov. 2021 PGA Tour's legacy of prim image-maintenance is blunting its product. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, 29 Nov. 2021 It looks instantly pulled together and pretty, but without looking too prim. Elle Turner, Glamour, 29 Oct. 2021 As the sexiness of the '60s was replaced by the hippie and punk vibes of the '70s, and the '80s saw a revival of prim, more formal dressing, Quant lost her global appeal. CNN, 12 Nov. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of prim

Verb

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for prim

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.

Adjective

derivative of or akin to prim entry 1

Learn More About prim

Dictionary Entries Near prim

prillion

prim

prima

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for prim

Cite this Entry

“Prim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prim. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for prim

prim

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prim

: very formal and proper
: easily shocked or upset by rude behavior, comments, etc.
: very neat in appearance

prim

adjective
\ 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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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