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first (senses 3 (i) and 3 (ii), although really distinct, cannot always be separated)
1. in heraldry “the ”=the colour first mentioned in blazoning a coat of arms (fig.) MND. III. ii. 213 “Two of the †, like coats in heraldry” (old edd. “ life”).
2. (one's) “,” the beginning or outset (of one's period of life, action, &c.) Tim. I. i. 119 “from my ,” Mac. V. ii. 11 “their of manhood,” Ham. II. ii. 61 “Upon our ,” Lr. V. iii. 290 “your of difference and decay.”
3. at first, also “at the ” in senses (i) and (ii):
i. at the outset, in the first stage, on the first occasion, (hence) originally Gent. II. vi. 9, III. i. 95, Wint. I. ii. 336, 1H6 II. i. 51, IV. i. 121 “let it rest where it began at ,” R3 V. iii. 311, Ham. II. ii. 192 “he knew me not at ,” Oth. II. iii. 361; also “at and last,” from beginning to end 1H6 V. v. 102, Mac. III. iv. 1; “since at ,” ever since, from the time when Err. II. ii. 5, Sonn. lix. 8;
ii. from the beginning, directly, at once Mer.V. IV. i. 68 “Every offence is not a hate at ,” Shr. V. ii. 68 “To come at when he doth send for her,” Cym. I. iv. 117, II. v. 15, Ven. 250, Sonn. xc. 12;
iii. before others Cor. I. i. 137 “True is it . . . That I receive the general food at first.”
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hide References (18 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (18):
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 5.3
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.6
    • William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 1.4
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 2.5
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 5.5
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, ven
    • William Shakespeare, Sonnets, lix
    • William Shakespeare, Sonnets, xc
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