Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to primly: haphazardly, thereafter, sorely

prim 1

adj. prim·mer, prim·mest
a. Precise or proper to the point of affectation; excessively decorous.
b. Strait-laced; prudish.
2. Neat and trim: a prim hedgerow.
v. primmed, prim·ming, prims
1. To fix (the face or mouth) in a prim expression.
2. To make prim, as in dress or appearance.
To assume a prim expression.

[Possibly from obsolete prim, formal or demure person, perhaps from Old French prin, first, delicate; see prime.]

prim′ly adv.
prim′ness n.

prim 2

A privet.

[Short for obsolete primprint, of unknown origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.primly - in a prissy manner; "the new teacher alienates the children by behaving prissily"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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[ˈprɪmlɪ] ADV (= demurely) → remilgadamente, con remilgo; (= prudishly) → con gazmoñería
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈprɪmli] advbien sagement
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adv (= demurely)sittsam, züchtig, überkorrekt; (= prudishly)prüde; she was sitting primly sipping teasie saß steif und vornehm da und nippte an ihrem Tee
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈprɪmlɪ] adv (smile, behave) → da persona per benino
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(prim) adjective
(of a person, behaviour etc) too formal and correct. a prim manner; a prim old lady.
ˈprimly adverb
ˈprimness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"Oh yes," Wendy said primly [formally and properly].
Dora kissed Anne primly and squeezed out two decorous little tears; but Davy, who had been crying on the back porch step ever since they rose from the table, refused to say good-bye at all.
"It was very wrong of her to deceive her parents," said Felicity primly.
"I'm too old for running, uncle; Miss Power said it was not lady-like for girls in their teens," answered Rose, primly.
When Marilla took her breakfast up to her she found the child sitting primly on her bed, pale and resolute, with tight-shut lips and gleaming eyes.
Cobb solemnly, as he remounted his perch; and as the stage rumbled down the village street between the green maples, those who looked from their windows saw a little brown elf in buff calico sitting primly on the back seat holding a great bouquet tightly in one hand and a pink parasol in the other.
And all this red roll of impieties came from his thin, genteel lips rather primly than otherwise, as he sat sipping the wine out of his tall, thin glass.
"There are many lines that could be spared from the book you were reading," she said, her voice primly firm and dogmatic.
Nelly, seeing me lie white and weak, thought I was dying, and went over to the neighbor's for Aunt Betsey, and burst in upon the old ladies sitting primly at, their tea, crying, distractedly, " 'Oh, Aunt Betsey, come quick!
The women, too, dressed primly in highbuttoned blouses and often navy jackets and skirts and mid-high heels.
We first meet the 'Go-Away bird' sitting primly in her nest and sternly surveying her surroundings.