the powder or other material used to ignite a charge.
the act of a person or thing that primes.
material used as a primer, or a first coat or layer of paint, size, etc.

1590–1600; prime + -ing1

self-priming, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
priming (ˈpraɪmɪŋ)
1.  something used to prime
2.  a substance, used to ignite an explosive charge

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

1399, from L. primus "first," from pre-Italic *prismos, superl. of Old L. pri "before," from PIE base *per- "beyond," *pro- "before" (see pre-). To prime a pump (c.1840) meant to pour water down the tube, which saturated the sucking mechanism and made it draw up water more
readily. Arithmetical sense (prime number) is from 1570; prime meridian is from 1878. Priming "first coat of paint" is from 1609. Prime time originally (1503) meant "spring time;" broadcasting sense of "peak tuning-in period" is attested from 1964.

O.E. prim "earliest canonical hour" (6 a.m.), from M.L. prima "the first service," from L. prima hora "the first hour" (of the Roman day). Meaning "most vigorous stage" first recorded 1536; specifically "springtime of human life" (often meaning ages roughly 21 to 28) is from 1592.

"to fill, charge, load" (a weapon), 1513, probably from prime (adj.) (q.v.). Primer "explosive cap" is from 1819.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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