be first among equals

be first among equals

To be more important or renowned than one's peers. Riley is the best choice for that difficult project—she's first among equals.
See also: among, equal, first

be first among equals

to officially be on the same level as other members in a group, but in fact have slightly more responsibility or be slightly more important The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was always considered first among equals.
See also: among, equal, first