2. A primary meeting; a caucus.
3. (Zoöl.) One of the large feathers on the distal joint of a bird's wing. See Plumage, and Illust. of
4. (Astron.) A primary planet; the brighter component of a double star. See under Planet.
(Pri"mate) n. [OE. primat, F. primat, L. primas, -atis one of the first, chief, fr. primus the
first. See Prime, a.]
1. The chief ecclesiastic in a national church; one who presides over other bishops in a province; an
2. (Zoöl.) One of the Primates.
(||Pri*ma"tes) n. pl. [NL.] (Zoöl.) The highest order of mammals. It includes man, together
with the apes and monkeys. Cf. Pitheci.
(Pri"mate*ship) n. The office, dignity, or position of a primate; primacy.
(Pri*ma"tial) a. [Cf. F. primatial.] Primatical. [R.] D'Anville (Trans. ).
(Pri*mat"ic*al) a. Of or pertaining to a primate. Barrow.
(Prime) a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See Prior,
a., Foremost, Former, and cf. Prim, a., Primary, Prince.]
1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary. "Prime forests." Tennyson.
She was not the prime cause, but I myself.Milton.
In this sense the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase prime cost.
2. First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance; as, prime minister. "Prime virtues." Dryden.
3. First in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat; a prime quality of cloth.
4. Early; blooming; being in the first stage. [Poetic]
His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him primeMilton.
In manhood where youth ended.
5. Lecherous; lustful; lewd. [Obs.] Shak.
6. Marked or distinguished by a mark (&prime) called a prime mark.
Prime and ultimate ratio. (Math.). See Ultimate. Prime conductor. (Elec.) See under Conductor.
Prime factor (Arith.), a factor which is a prime number. Prime figure (Geom.), a figure which
can not be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, etc. Prime
meridian (Astron.), the meridian from which longitude is reckoned, as the meridian of Greenwich or
Washington. Prime minister, the responsible head of a ministry or executive government; applied
particularly to that of England. Prime mover. (Mech.) (a) A natural agency applied by man to
the production of power. Especially: Muscular force; the weight and motion of fluids, as water and air; heat
obtained by chemical combination, and applied to produce changes in the volume and pressure of steam,
air, or other fluids; and electricity, obtained by chemical action, and applied to produce alternation of
magnetic force. (b) An engine, or machine, the object of which is to receive and modify force and motion
as supplied by some natural source, and apply them to drive other machines; as a water wheel, a water-
pressure engine, a steam engine, a hot-air engine, etc. (c) Fig.: The original or the most effective force