primus inter pares


pri·​mus in·​ter pa·​res ˈprī-məs-ˌin-tər-ˈpa-rēz How to pronounce primus inter pares (audio)
: first among equals

Examples of primus inter pares in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Almost at once, Morgenthau staked his ground: His office would become known as primus inter pares—first among equals, across the 93 federal judicial districts. Andrew Meier, Time, 14 Oct. 2022 The historic center of Orthodoxy is Constantinople—present-day Istanbul—and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople is recognized by other patriarchs (there are nine in all) as primus inter pares, or first among equals. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 21 Apr. 2022 Mark Zuckerberg is an unabashed fan of Augustus, the Roman emperor who referred to himself as primus inter pares, or first among equals. Kevin T. Dugan, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2021 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, 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,, 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, 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, 9 Feb. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'primus inter pares.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1688, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of primus inter pares was in 1688

Dictionary Entries Near primus inter pares

Cite this Entry

“Primus inter pares.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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