in the first place

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Related to in the first place: at first, to begin with, in the first instance

in the first place

1. From the outset; in or at the very beginning. You should have said you were feeling ill in the first place! I wouldn't have given you such a hard time if I'd known. I never would have bought this car in the first place if I'd known there weren't airbags.
2. As the first of a given set of points (e.g., in an argument). Why am I quitting? Well, in the first place, I haven't been paid for overtime in nearly a year, and I just don't feel valued as an employee in general.
See also: first, place
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in the first place and in the first instance

initially; to begin with. In the first place, you don't have enough money to buy one. In the second place, you don't need one. In the first instance, I don't have the time. In the second place, I'm not interested.
See also: and, first, instance, place
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in the ˈfirst place

1 used at the beginning of a sentence to introduce the different points you are making in an argument: In the first place it’s not your car, and in the second you’re not old enough to drive it. Is that clear?
2 used at the end of a sentence to talk about why something was done or whether it should have been done or not: I should never have taken that job in the first place.
See also: first, place
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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