first vs initiatory what difference

what is difference between first and initiatory



  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /fɜːst/
  • (General American) enPR: fŭrst, IPA(key): /fɝst/
  • (Scotland) IPA(key): /fɪrst/, /fʌrst/
  • Hyphenation: first
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)st

Etymology 1

From Middle English first, furst, ferst, fyrst, from Old English fyrest, from Proto-Germanic *furistaz (foremost, first), superlative of Proto-Germanic *fur, *fura, *furi (before), from Proto-Indo-European *per-, *pero- (forward, beyond, around), equivalent to fore +‎ -est. Cognate with North Frisian foarste (first), Dutch voorste (foremost, first), German Fürst (chief, prince, literally first (born)), Swedish först (first), Norwegian Nynorsk fyrst (first), Icelandic fyrstur (first).

Alternative forms

  • 1st, Ist; I, I. (in names of monarchs and popes)
  • firste (archaic)
  • fyrst, fyrste (obsolete)


first (not comparable)

  1. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest.
    Hancock was first to arrive.
  2. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest.
    • 1784: William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., PREFACE
      THE favourable reception the Orrery has met with from Perſons of the firſt diſtinction, and from Gentlemen and Ladies in general, has induced me to add to it ſeveral new improvements in order to give it a degree of Perfection; and diſtinguiſh it from others; which by Piracy, or Imitation, may be introduced to the Public.
Related terms
  • for
  • fore


first (not comparable)

  1. Before anything else; firstly.
  2. For the first time;
  • See also Thesaurus:firstly


first (countable and uncountable, plural firsts)

  1. (uncountable) The person or thing in the first position.
    • 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
      Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
  2. (uncountable) The first gear of an engine.
  3. (countable) Something that has never happened before; a new occurrence.
  4. (countable, baseball) first base
  5. (countable, Britain, colloquial) A first-class honours degree.
  6. (countable, colloquial) A first-edition copy of some publication.
  7. A fraction of an integer ending in one.

Derived terms

Related terms

See also

  • primary
  • primus inter pares

Etymology 2

From Middle English first, furst, fyrst, from Old English fyrst, fierst, first (period, space of time, time, respite, truce), from Proto-Germanic *frestaz, *fristiz, *frestą (date, appointed time), from Proto-Indo-European *pres-, *per- (forward, forth, over, beyond). Cognate with North Frisian ferst, frest (period, time), German Frist (period, deadline, term), Swedish frist (deadline, respite, reprieve, time-limit), Icelandic frestur (period). See also frist.


first (plural firsts)

  1. (obsolete) Time; time granted; respite.


  • first at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • FTIRs, SIRTF, frist, frits, rifts

Middle English

Alternative forms

  • fyrst, ferst, furst


From Old English fyrest, from Proto-Germanic *furistaz.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfirst/, /ˈfurst/, /ˈfɛrst/



  1. first


  • English: first
  • Yola: vursth, vurst


  • “first, ord. num. (as adj. & n.).”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.



initiatory (comparative more initiatory, superlative most initiatory)

  1. Of or pertaining to initiation
  2. inceptive, initial, inaugural or introductory
    • 1652, George Herbert, A Priest to the Temple
      some initiatory treatises in the law
    • 1815, John M. Mason, Essays on the Church of God
      Two initiatory rites of the same general import cannot exist together.



initiatory (plural initiatories)

  1. An introductory act or rite.

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