From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishprimeprime1 /praɪm/ ●○○AWL adjective [only before noun]1MAINmost important syn mainSmoking is the prime cause of lung disease.Our prime concern is providing jobs for all young school leavers.He was named as the prime suspect in the murder investigation.Good management is of prime importance in business.► see thesaurus at main2BESTof the very best quality or kindprime rib of beefprime agricultural landThe hotel is in a prime location overlooking the valley.3 →be a prime candidate/target (for something)4 →prime example
prime• Surely you don't allow negative numbers to be primes?• Even Margaret Thatcher in her prime could not carry her party on the question of Sundays.• He was thirty-six years old, and his youth was gone, and even his prime was passing.• In his prime, Vermeer developed what can only be called a formula, and a dazzling one.• Those selected for slaughter are done so at about thirty months, however, when their meat is at its prime.• The extract is bitter but tolerable, and the root has the taste of a radish past its prime.• The bottomstrand is numbered in the same way from the 5' end, but with primes on the numbers.cut off in ... prime• The relationship has been stormy, with joint projects often cut off in their prime.
primeprime3 verb [transitive]1prepare somebodyPREPARE to prepare someone for a situation so that they know what to doprime somebody with somethingDid you prime her with what to say?prime somebody for somethingHe had a shower and primed himself for action.prime somebody to do somethingHe had been primed to say nothing about it.2a gunPMW to prepare a gun or bomb so that it can fire or explode3paintTBCPREPARE to put a speciallayer of paint on a surface, in order to prepare it for the next layerAll metal surfaces will have to be primed.4 →prime the pump5water to pour water into a water pump in order to make it ready to work→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
prime• The Cowboys will be primed and poised.• Did you prime her with what to say?• The Smiths were priming themselves for a spell in the top five.• These are then primed to recognise and attack the real invader.• When cleaned, non-ferrous metals are best brought to a brightfinish before priming with zinc chromate or zinc phosphate.prime somebody to do something• Second baseman Gonzalez is being primed to take over as shortstop.From Longman Business Dictionaryprimeprime1 /praɪm/ adjective1of the best qualityacres of prime real estate right by an international airport2main or most importantThe developer’s prime objective is to build houses at maximum profit, with minimum care for the environment.their prime concern was for the safety of the international financial system.Martin Marietta Corp., the prime contractor in the rocket-engine development programprimeprime2 verbprime the (economic) pump journalismECONOMICS to make the economy grow faster by increasing government spending, hoping that this will encourage business to invest moreDirect investments in job creation are essential to prime the pump and get the economy up and running again. → see alsopump-priming→ See Verb tableprimeprime3 nounabove primeFINANCE used to talk about how much higher an interest rate is than the PRIME RATE (=the interest rate charged by banks to their best borrowers)The working-capital loan carried an interest rate of 3½ points above prime.