\ 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
2 : neat, trim prim hedges

Definition of prim (Entry 3 of 3)

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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 China’s leaders similarly use prim, technical-sounding terms to describe their confrontation with America. The Economist, "400-pound rivals China views Donald Trump’s America with growing distrust and scorn," 2 Jan. 2020 The first date, Carol (2015) The lunch date that happens early on in Todd Haynes’s Carol is prim, polite, and designed to look as formal as possible to deter any prying eyes. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Movie Scenes of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 The outfit is a casual turn from yesterday's prim, proper attire of dripping diamond earrings and a green long-sleeve dress, reportedly by her go-to designer Alexander McQueen. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Kate Gets Festive in a Puffer Jacket, Skinny Jeans, and Boots," 4 Dec. 2019 The form-fitting dress accentuated Chastain’s physique while a mock neckline served as a prim alternative to the more covered-up turtleneck. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Jessica Chastain Proves That Redheads Can Wear Red on the Red Carpet," 11 Jan. 2018 Subverting preppy style codes, Stella Maxwell's prim and proper alter ego has lids stacked in glitzy golden crystals, while Akon Changkou, playing party girl, wears jolts of emerald eyeshadow, taking flight with diamanté tips. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "6 Holiday Party Makeup Ideas From Pat McGrath," 19 Dec. 2019 This poignant report prompts the queen to visit at last, surveying the wreckage in an oversize fur hat and prim coat. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Dramatic Detachment of The Crown," 12 Dec. 2019 One is prim and tidy, complete with a white rocking chair on the front porch; the other, a bit more ramshackle with an old lawn mower out front and a half-drunk bottle of Jose Cuervo on the windowsill. Matthew J. Palm,, "In The Villages, a polished look at global ‘Neighbors’ | Review," 1 Dec. 2019 Once the whaling capital of the world, this prim little island off the coast of Cape Cod leverages its seafaring past to entice lovers of clapboard cottages and striped sailor shirts. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best U.S. Islands: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 7 Oct. 2019

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.

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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


origin unknown

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Statistics for prim

Cite this Entry

“Prim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for prim

English Language Learners Definition of prim

: very formal and proper
: easily shocked or upset by rude behavior, comments, etc.
: very neat in appearance
\ ˈprim How to pronounce prim (audio) \
primmer; primmest

Kids Definition of prim

: very formal and proper

Other Words from prim

primly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on prim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prim

Spanish Central: Translation of prim

Nglish: Translation of prim for Spanish Speakers

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