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 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 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.

First Known Use of primus inter pares

1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for primus inter pares


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The first known use of primus inter pares was in 1688

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Last Updated

25 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Primus inter pares.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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