Deeper Dive: first

first adjective[OE. first, furst, AS. fyrst; akin to Icel. fyrstr, Sw. & Dan. förste, OHG. furist, G. fürst prince; a superlatiye form of E. for, fore. See For, Fore, and cf. Formeer, Foremost.]

1. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest; as, the first day of a month; the first year of a reign.

2. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.

3. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest; as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.

At first blush
See under Blush.
At first hand
from the first or original source; without the intervention of any agent.

It is the intention of the person to reveal it at first hand, by way of mouth, to yourself. Dickens.
First coat (Plastering)
the solid foundation of coarse stuff, on which the rest is placed; it is thick, and crossed with lines, so as to give a bond for the next coat.
First day
Sunday; – so called by the Friends.
First floor
(a) The ground floor. [U.S.]

(b) The floor next above the ground floor. [Eng.]
First fruit


First fruits
(a) The fruits of the season earliest gathered.

(b) (Feudal Law) One year’s profits of lands belonging to the king on the death of a tenant who held directly from him.

(c) (Eng. Eccl. Law) The first year's whole profits of a benefice or spiritual living.

(d) The earliest effects or results.
See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man! Milton.
First mate
an officer in a merchant vessel next in rank to the captain.
First name
same as Christian name. See under Name, noun
First officer (Naut.)
in the merchant service, same as First mate (above).
First sergeant (Mil.)
the ranking non-commissioned officer in a company; the orderly sergeant. Farrow.
First watch (Naut.)
the watch from eight to twelve at midnight; also, the men on duty during that time.
First water
the highest quality or purest luster; – said of gems, especially of diamond and pearls.

-- Webster's unabridged 1913

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