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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English *frist, frest, first, furst, from Old English fyrst, fierst, first (period, space of time, time, respite, truce), from Proto-Germanic *fristaz, *fristą (date, appointed time), from Proto-Indo-European *pres-, *per- (forward, forth, over, beyond). Cognate with North Frisian ferst, frest (period, time), German Frist (period, deadline, term), Swedish frist (deadline, respite, reprieve, time-limit), Icelandic frestur (period). See also first.


frist (plural frists)

  1. (obsolete) A certain space or period of time; respite.
  2. (UK dialectal) A delay; respite.
  3. (UK dialectal) Credit; trust.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *fristen, frysten, fresten, firsten, from Old English *fyrstan (to defer, delay, put off), from fyrst, fierst, first (period, space of time, time, respite, truce). See Etymology 1. Cognate with Low German versten, German fristen (to eke out), Danish friste (to sustain, support, experience, tempt), Icelandic fresta (to delay).


frist (third-person singular simple present frists, present participle fristing, simple past and past participle fristed)

  1. (transitive, UK dialectal) To sell (goods) on trust or credit.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Crabb to this entry?)
  2. (UK dialectal) To grant respite.
  3. (UK dialectal) To give a debtor credit or time for payment.
  4. (transitive, intransitive, UK dialectal) To defer; postpone.
Derived terms[edit]





  1. Superlative form of fris