1 [prim]
adjective, primmer, primmest.
formally precise or proper, as persons or behavior; stiffly neat.
verb (used without object), primmed, primming.
to draw up the mouth in an affectedly nice or precise way.
verb (used with object), primmed, primming.
to make prim, as in appearance.
to draw (one's face, lips, etc.) into a prim expression.

1675–85; origin uncertain

primly, adverb
primness, noun
unprimmed, adjective

1. prissy, formal, rigid.

1. flexible. Unabridged


2 [prim]
privet ( def 1 ).

1565–75; shortening of earlier primprint privet < ?

prim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To prim
World English Dictionary
prim (prɪm)
adj , primmer, primmest
1.  affectedly proper, precise, or formal
vb , primmer, primmest, prims, primming, primmed
2.  (tr) to make prim
3.  to purse (the mouth) primly or (of the mouth) to be so pursed
[C18: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1684 (v.) "to assume a formal, precise demeanor," probably from Fr. prim "thin, small, delicate," from O.Fr. prim "fine, delicate," from L. primus "first, finest" (see prime). Attested as a noun from 1700. The adj., the sole surviving sense, is from 1709. A cant word at first;
the noun sense may be the original.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. primary

  2. primitive

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
To ask this, both sides insist with prim faces, is entirely to miss the point.
Tract houses on prim lanes have been built over the original pasture.
But compared to the scrawny, chain-smoking veterans on his newsdesk he was in truth remarkably prim.
Too many dancers looked too prim and proper to be peasants and they seldom filled the stage with their energy.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature