Meaning of “first” - Learner’s Dictionary


adverb us uk /ˈfɜːst/

A1 before everything or everyone else:

I can go to the cinema, but I've got to do my homework first.
Jason came first in the 400 metres (= he won).

More examples


B1 for the first time:

I first heard the song on the radio.
He first started playing the piano at school.
at first

B1 at the beginning of a situation or period of time:

At first I thought she was unfriendly, but actually she is just shy.
first; first of all

B1 used to introduce the first idea, reason, etc in a series:

First, I think we have to change our marketing strategy.

A2 before doing anything else:

First of all check you have all the correct ingredients.
come first

to be the most important person or thing:

Her career always comes first.
put sb/sth first

to consider someone or something to be the most important thing:

Most couples put their children first when sorting out their problems.
First come, first served.

something you say when there is not enough of something for everyone and only the first people who ask for it will get it

(Definition of “first adverb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)