### Prime

**PRIME**, *adjective* [Latin primus.]

**1.** First in order of time; original; as *prime* fathers; *prime* creation.

In this sense, the use of the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase, *prime* cost.

**2.** First in rank, degree or dignity; as *prime* minister.

**3.** First in excellence; as *prime* wheat; cloth of a *prime* quality. Humility and resignation are *prime* virtues.

**4.** Early; blooming.

His starry helm unbuckl'd, showed him prime

In manhood, where youth ended.

**5.** First in value or importance.

**PRIME** number, in arithmetic, a number which is divisible only by unity, as 5.7.ll.

**PRIME** figure, in geometry, a figure which cannot be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, etc.

**PRIME**, *noun* The first opening of day; the dawn; the morning.

Early and late it rung, at evening and at *prime*

The sweet hour of *prime*

**1.** The beginning; the early days.

In the very *prime* of the world.

**2.** The spring of the year.

Hope waits upon the flower *prime*

**3.** The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength or beauty.

That crop the golden *prime* of this sweet prince.

The *prime* of youth.

**4.** The best part.

Give him always of the *prime*

**5.** The utmost perfection.

The plants--would have been all in *prime*

**6.** In the Romish church, the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds.

**7.** In fencing, the first of the chief guards.

**8.** In chimistry, primes are numbers employed, in conformity with the doctrine of definite proportions, to express the ratios in which bodies enter into combination. Primes duly arranged in a table, constitute a scale of chimical equivalents. They also express the ratios of the weights of atoms, according to the atomic theory.

**PRIME** of the moon, the new moon, when it first appears after the change.

vertical, the vertical circle which passes through the poles of the meridian, or the east and west points of the horizon. Dials projected on the plane of this circle, are called *prime* vertical or north and south dials.

**PRIME**, *verb transitive* To put powder in the pan of a musket or other fire-arm; or to lay a train of powder for communicating fire to a charge.

**1.** To lay on the first color in painting.

**PRIME**, *verb intransitive* To serve for the charge of a gun.