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prim1

[prim] /prɪm/
adjective, primmer, primmest.
1.
formally precise or proper, as persons or behavior; stiffly neat.
verb (used without object), primmed, primming.
2.
to draw up the mouth in an affectedly nice or precise way.
verb (used with object), primmed, primming.
3.
to make prim, as in appearance.
4.
to draw (one's face, lips, etc.) into a prim expression.
Origin of prim1
1675-1685
1675-85; origin uncertain
Related forms
primly, adverb
primness, noun
unprimmed, adjective
Synonyms
1. prissy, formal, rigid.
Antonyms
1. flexible.

prim2

[prim] /prɪm/
noun
1.
privet (def 1).
Origin
1565-75; shortening of earlier primprint privet < ?

prim.

1.
2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prim
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her temper was even, and her nature was finer than her prim, priggish ways would have led the casual acquaintance to suppose.

    When Grandmamma Was New Marion Harland
  • It was broad daylight, and the door leading into the prim little hall was ajar.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • The fact was that the prim man was just beginning to have a dawning recollection of the story he had forgotten.

    From Chaucer to Tennyson Henry A. Beers
  • The one servant of the house waited at table, prim, sedate, formal.

    Cleo The Magnificent Louis Zangwill
  • Mr. prim was first astonished, then angry, then amused, at this performance.

British Dictionary definitions for prim

prim

/prɪm/
adjective primmer, primmest
1.
affectedly proper, precise, or formal
verb prims, primming, primmed
2.
(transitive) to make prim
3.
to purse (the mouth) primly or (of the mouth) to be so pursed
Derived Forms
primly, adverb
primness, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prim

1680s (v.) "to assume a formal, precise demeanor," perhaps from French prim "thin, small, delicate," from Old French prim "fine, delicate," from Latin primus "finest," literally "first" (see prime (adj.)). Later, "deck out, dress to effect" (1721). Attested as a noun from 1700. The adjective, the sole surviving sense, is from 1709. A cant word at first. Related: Primly; primness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for prim

prim.

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.
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8
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