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





  1. Superlative form of fris