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See also: Frist



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 *fristiz, *frestą (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) Time allotted for repayment; a term (in which a debt is to be repaid); a delay; respite; suspension.
    His was a short frist (He had a short life).
    • a1578, Robert Lindsay, The Cronicles of Scotland
      Yitt they caused the lordis that war vpoun on the panell, that schould have thoalled judgment, to find cautioun everie ane of thame, vnder the paine of certane soumes, to answer at ane certane apoynted to thame. Yitt all thir lordis war verrie blyth, think and that all evill was guid of frist, in speciall the lord David Lindsay was so blyth at his brothers sayingis, that he burst furth, saying to him: "Verrilie brother, yea have fyne pyatt wordis. I wold not have trowed, be St Amarie, that yea had sick wordis".
    • 1721, James Kelly, Scottish Proverbs:
      All Ills are good a frist.
    • 1888, Murray's Magazine:
      My time is short, my frist is o'er, and I have much to say.
  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

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


From Old Norse frest n


frist m (definite singular fristen, indefinite plural frister, definite plural fristene)

  1. deadline