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 ?
First come, first served, I suppose is the law of the forest.
Terms & conditions: This offer is subject to availability and available on a first come, first served basis while stocks last.
Subject to availability, if tickets remain the following sale will take place on a first come first served basis: Season ticket holders and members from 8.
ISLAMABAD -- The Ministry of Religious Affairs will start receiving the Hajj applications from May 2 on first come, first served basis for the Hajj 2012.
U]nder the first served defendant rule," the court continued, "'Section 1446(b)'s 30-day time clock begin[s] to run with service of the first defendant entitled to remove.
CASH-strapped LDV workers are being offered four free tickets each to Aston Villa's Easter Sunday clash with Everton - on a first come, first served basis.
Subject to availability, 20,000 bunches available, distributed on a first come, first served basis.
STATS: 24 primitive sites, $9; first come, first served.
Bridges first served in the JASSM program office as the technical director and most recently as the program director.
Offer is on a first-come, first served basis and is strictly subject to availability.
But don't delay - the free tickets for the exclusive showings (12A) are strictly on a first come, first served basis.
Race numbers will be given out on a first-come, first served basis.
First come first served is the usual approach with some attention to psychological and social factors.
Tickets are subject to availability on a first come, first served basis.