of the highest/first order

of the first order

Of major importance or significance. You have to study Shakespeare because he is a poet of the first order. We need to close the highway immediately—this is an accident of the first order.
See also: first, of, order

of the highest order

Of major importance or significance. You have to study Shakespeare because he is a poet of the highest order. We need to close the highway immediately—this is an accident of the highest order.
See also: high, of, order

of the first order (or magnitude)

used to denote something that is excellent or considerable of its kind.
In astronomy, magnitude is a measure of the degree of brightness of a star. Stars of the first magnitude are the most brilliant.
See also: first, of, order

of the highest/first ˈorder

,

of a high ˈorder

of the best, worst, most extreme, etc. type: It was a scandal of the first order.
See also: first, high, of, order
References in classic literature ?
He made thorough examination of the galley, a rude affair, open on the open deck, exposed to wind and rain and storm, a small stove that was not even a ship's stove, on which somehow, aided by strings and wedges, commingled with much smoke, two blacks managed to cook the food for the four-score persons on board.