primus inter pares

pri·​mus in·​ter pa·​res | \ ˈprī-məs-ˌin-tər-ˈpa-rēz How to pronounce primus inter pares (audio) , ˈprē-məs- \

Definition of primus inter pares

: first among equals

Examples of primus inter pares in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Within countries there are prime ministers to mediate spending disputes among squabbling department heads, but the EU has no primus inter pares; the budget must be approved unanimously by its leaders. The Economist, "CharlemagneThe European Union’s budget may soon be weaponised," 18 Jan. 2018 His performance mixed strength, lucidity and elegance in equal proportion, a civilized musical conversation in which the pianist functioned more as primus inter pares than soloist, as Beethoven surely intended. John Von Rhein,, "Schiff moves with conviction from piano bench to CSO podium," 3 Nov. 2017 Egalitarians no doubt applaud this surnominal softening, yet not all companies can or should be run on a primus inter pares basis. Gregg Opelka, WSJ, "I’ve Got a Problem: ‘No Problem’," 26 Sep. 2017 The Nationalist military chieftains who elevated Francisco Franco to supreme power may initially have thought of their leader as a sort of primus inter pares, but this notion did not accord with Franco’s ideas. Jesús Palacios, Slate Magazine, "How Franco tailored fascism to his country by stealing from every major political movement.," 9 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'primus inter pares.' 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 primus inter pares

1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for primus inter pares


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about primus inter pares

Time Traveler for primus inter pares

Time Traveler

The first known use of primus inter pares was in 1688

See more words from the same year

Statistics for primus inter pares

Cite this Entry

“Primus inter pares.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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

Comments on primus inter pares

What made you want to look up primus inter pares? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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