in the first place


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to in the first place: at first, to begin with, in the first instance

in the first place

in the beginning We should never have agreed to do this in the first place.
See also: first, place

in the first place

in the beginning We should never have agreed to this in the first place. We only had four of these glasses in the first place, and now I've broken two of them.
See also: first, place

in the first place

1. From the beginning, at the outset, before anything else. For example, Why didn't you tell me in the first place that you've decided to leave? or He could have bought a new one in the first place.
2. As the first of several items in order of importance. This phrase is usually accompanied by in the second place, third place, and so on, as in I'm not joining the health club because, in the first place, I don't like their hours, and in the second place, I can't afford the dues . [First half of 1600s] Also see for one.
See also: first, place
References in classic literature ?
If she had been going to leave her present situation, she would have mentioned it, in the first place, to ME.
Now as tragic imitation implies persons acting, it necessarily follows, in the first place, that Spectacular equipment will be a part of Tragedy.
It is true that it may be quite possible, in the first place, that Ravaillac had no accomplices; and in the second, that if he had any, they were in no way connected with the fire of
I would teach myself to wait, I declared nevertheless; because in the first place I could not do otherwise and in the second I had her promise, given me the other night, that she would help me.
I finally went to headquarters--to the White Caps--where I would have gone in the first place if I had been acquainted.
But in the first place, this woman I have described must be found who is desirous of avenging herself upon the duke.
Just now he laughed at his companions - quickly however changing the subject; for the reason that, in the first place, his laugh struck him even at that moment as starting the odd echo, the conscious human resonance (he scarce knew how to qualify it) that sounds made while he was there alone sent back to his ear or his fancy; and that, in the second, he imagined Alice Staverton for the instant on the point of asking him, with a divination, if he ever so prowled.