first-rate

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

first-rate (plural first-rates)

  1. (military, nautical, historical) A ship of the line in the British navy that had over 100 guns on three gun decks

Adjective[edit]

first-rate

  1. (military, nautical, historical) Describing a ship of the line in the British navy that had over 100 guns on three gundecks.
  2. (by extension) Exceptionally good.
    • Matthew Arnold
      Our only first-rate body of contemporary poetry is the German.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.

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