first come, first served

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first come, first served

The first people present will be the first to receive something, often something that is available in limited quantities. The first hundred people will get a free T-shirt—it's first come, first served.
See also: first, serve

First come, first served.

Prov. The first people to arrive will be able to get the best choices. You can't reserve a seat at the movie theater; it's strictly first come, first served. We should get to the book sale as soon as they open; it's first come, first served.
See also: first, serve

first come, first served

Those who precede others will have their needs attended to earliest, as in So many people showed up that we may not have enough food to go around, so let it be "first come, first served ." The idea is very old, but the first recorded use of this precise phrase was in 1545. Also see early bird catches the worm.
See also: first, serve

first come first served

COMMON You say first come first served to show that a group of people will be dealt with or given something in the order in which they arrive. There will be five buses, first come first served. Note: People often say that something will be done or given on a first come first served basis. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
See also: come, first, serve

first come, first served

used to indicate that people will be dealt with strictly in the order in which they arrive or apply.
See also: first, serve

ˌfirst ˈcome, ˌfirst ˈserved

(saying) people will be dealt with, seen, etc. strictly in the order in which they arrive, apply, etc: We have 100 tickets for the performance, and they will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
See also: first, serve
References in classic literature ?
I am a simple, dull fellow who writes down whatsoever first comes into his head--Your friend,
First comes white-horse, so called, which is obtained from the tapering part of the fish, and also from the thicker portions of his flukes.
com) FIRST comes the irresistible, warming scent, and this gently-spiced tea is delightfully tasty too.
First comes fatness and rejection, then a period of thin but self-indulgent revenge on the people who laughed at the former fatness, lastly an understanding that true self-worth resides not in appearance but in the love reflected back at perfection--Hollywood's version of wholeness.
First comes thoroughly researching the competition and analyzing building and neighborhood demographics, interests and lifestyles.
First comes the playoffs, and Crespi will learn its fate when brackets are released Sunday.
I've learned that although healing comes eventually, first comes the period when the suffering is so complete there's no way to see beyond it.
But first comes the oeuvre complete -- a useful, beautiful but frustrating book.
The first comes on short-list day, when assembled art journalists, many of whom have never before heard of the nominees, try to grapple with contemporary art.
In the memoirs department, National Public Radio commentator Marion Winik weighs in with how she helped her gay AIDS-stricken--husband and father of her children--Tony Heubach, die in First Comes Love (Random House, $18); Quentin Crisp offers The Naked Civil Servant (Penguin, $16.
First comes news of the group's 2002 Grammy(R) nomination in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category for "Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Plantia)" a key track from their latest Warner Bros.
Dowling is perhaps the name that first comes to mind when asked to identify the best in the business.
The first comes today, when the council takes up the matter of finalizing district boundaries for members of the Los Angeles Unified School District board.
From our perspective it may be necessary to give up warm and fuzzy religious feelings, or have them taken from us by God to draw closer to the One who first comes to us in darkness, but who ultimately is revealed, as John writes, as a living flame of love.
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