Cars & Driving

  • verb to fill a machine (e.g. a pump) with the necessary fluid before starting, in order to improve its sealing qualities
  • verb to put fuel in the float chamber of a carburettor to ease the starting of an engine


  • adjective very important


  • A grade of finish lumber ranking below superior, the highest grade, and above E, the lowest grade of finish. Finish graded prime must presenta fine appearance and is designed for application where finishing requirements are less exacting.
  • To supply water to a pump to enable it to start pumping.
  • In blasting, to place the detonator in a cartridge or charge of explosive.
  • The primary architect or contractor on a job that features several.
  • To seal a porous surface to prevent or reduce staining, shrinkage, and drying out.

Information & Library Science

  • adjective relating to the most important or typical example of something
  • verb to give somebody information about something

Media Studies

  • noun a mark (′) added to a number, character, or expression in order to distinguish it from another


  • noun the best state or period of something, especially the most active and enjoyable period in adult life
  • verb to make something ready for use, or to become ready for use


  • verb to prepare an explosive device for detonation

Real Estate

  • verb to prepare a surface for painting or a similar process by treating it with a sealant or an undercoat of paint
  • verb to put liquid in something such as a pump in order to get it started


  • adjective most important, first-rate

Origin & History of “prime”

Latin prīmus ‘first’ came from an earlier *prīsmo-, which went back ultimately to Indo-European *pro ‘before, in front’ (ancestor also of English first). English first acquired it direct from Latin in the Anglo-Saxon period as an ecclesiastical term for the earliest of the canonical hours, and this is the source of the modern English noun uses of the word (as in ‘in one’s prime’). The adjective prime was borrowed in the 14th century from Old French prime. English has a wide range of words that go back to derivatives of Latin prīmus, including premier (15th c.), prim, primal (17th c.), primary (15th c.), primate (13th c.), primitive (14th c.), prince, principal, and principle. The trade-name Primus was first used for a sort of paraffin lamp in the early years of the 20th century.