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Firstborn   /fˈərstbˈɔrn/   Listen
Firstborn

adjective
1.
First in order of birth.  Synonym: eldest.



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"Firstborn" Quotes from Famous Books



... Only the firstborn married. The younger brothers and sisters worked under him and for him. In the lonely farms of the mountains of the South, far from all neighbours and every woman, brothers and sisters lived together, the latter serving and in all ways belonging to the ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... considered the welfare of her two little girls as much as her own when she decided to marry a second time, and it had been a constant joy to feel that her expectations had been fulfilled; yet here was Ruth, her firstborn darling, her right hand in household affairs, actually ...
— The Fortunes of the Farrells • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... note that the maid to us committed (assert they) Was but a fraud: her mate never a touch of her had, 20 * * * * * * * * But that a father durst dishonour the bed of his firstborn, Folk all swear, and the house hapless with incest bewray; Or that his impious mind was blunt with fiery passion 25 Or that his impotent son sprang from incapable seed. And to be sought was one with nerve more nervous endowed, ...
— The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus • Caius Valerius Catullus

... freedom of air with the bird, and the glow of the sun with the lizard; to sport through the blooms of the earth, Nature's playmate and darling; to face, in the forest and desert, the pard and the lion,—Nature's bravest and fiercest,—her firstborn, the heir of her realm, with the rest of her ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... were both the natural children of Abraham. By rights Ishmael should have enjoyed the prerogatives of the firstborn, if physical generation had any special value. Nevertheless he was left out in the cold while Isaac was called. This goes to prove that the children of faith are ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... Duchess was Lady Victoria Alexandrina Violet, born in 1890. She was highly honoured at her christening, for Queen Victoria acted as sponsor person, and held the baby in her arms. There is at Welbeck an autograph letter from the Queen, congratulating the parents on their firstborn. The next was the heir to the Dukedom, William Arthur Henry, Marquis of Titchfield, born March 16th, 1893, and the third Lord Francis ...
— The Portland Peerage Romance • Charles J. Archard

... your master Moses a thief or a kubiustis? Or could he not make up his accounts properly?' The critic is then informed of a certain difference between 'sacred' and other coins; and he further gets a lesson in the matter of Levites and Firstborn, which silences him. Again, the Talmud decides that, if a man have bought a slave who turns out to be a thief or a kubiustis,—which has here been erroneously explained to mean a 'manstealer,'—he has no redress. He must keep him, as he bought him, or send him away; for he has ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... she kept repeating. "The tender worm of 'en! But I'll have 'en back, if I've to go to the naughty place to fetch 'en. Why, what sort of a tale be I to pitch to my Dan'l, if he comes home and his firstborn gone?" ...
— News from the Duchy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... tenfold seven times seven. Draw Thou mine eyes, draw Thou my heart above, My treasure and my heart store Thou in Thee, Brood over me with yearnings of a dove; Be Husband, Brother, closest Friend to me; Love me as very mother loves her son, Her sucking firstborn fondled on her knee: Yea, more than mother loves her little one; For, earthly, even a mother may forget And feel no pity for its piteous moan; But Thou, O Love of God, remember yet, Through the dry desert, through the waterflood ...
— Poems • Christina G. Rossetti

... grotesque smiles with its little red chin and cheeks was undoubtedly a true baby, a good and delightful thing in Susannah's estimation. Had the Bible in the hill been a true Bible? Susannah intuitively knew that Emma Smith, bending with grave rapture over her firstborn, was ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... bathed, fed, and clothed in a high-necked, long-sleeved silk shirt and a blanket, all of which could be done in five minutes. As babies lie still most of the time the first six weeks, they need no dressing. I think the nurse was a full hour bathing and dressing my firstborn, who protested with a melancholy ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... Thy mother sings to her firstborn; Sleep, O boy, sleep, Thy father cries out to his little child. Thousands of praises we sing to ...
— A History of Nursery Rhymes • Percy B. Green

... daughter of John Shakspere." At the making up of the Chamberlain's accounts for 1562-63 in January, 1563-64, the Chamber was found in debt to John Shakespeare 25s. 8d., as if he had been the finance Chamberlain of the two. Both of his daughters were dead when, on April 26, he christened his firstborn son William. That summer the plague raged in Stratford; the Council meetings were held in the garden, to avoid infection, and collections were made among the burgesses for the relief of the poor, to each of which John ...
— Shakespeare's Family • Mrs. C. C. Stopes

... movement! there they trace Their blank infinitudes of time and space, Vault with careering curves her central goal, Pour forth her day and stud her evening stole, Heedless of count; their numbers still unknown, Unmeasured still their progress round her throne; For none of all her firstborn sons, endow'd With heavenly sapience and pretensions proud, No seraph bright, whose keen considering eye And sunbeam speed ascend from sky to sky, Has yet explored or counted all their spheres, Or fixt or found their past record of years. Nor can a ray from her remotest sun, Shot forth when ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... on the anniversary of the Death of the Firstborn, and of this matter it pleased him to talk to me. Up and down the chamber he walked and, watching him by the lamplight, I noted that of a sudden he seemed to have grown much older, and that his face had become sweeter even than it was before. He was more thin ...
— Moon of Israel • H. Rider Haggard

... use in attempting to define or explain the first God in the Platonic system, who has sometimes been thought to answer to God the Father; or the world, in whom the Fathers of the Church seemed to recognize 'the firstborn of every creature.' Nor need we discuss at length how far Plato agrees in the later Jewish idea of creation, according to which God made the world out of nothing. For his original conception of matter as something which has no qualities is really ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... and quieten him!' Mr. Knight commanded. 'It's like him to begin making a noise just now. I'll take a look at Susan—and my firstborn.' ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... have been terrible, my dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Herbert, so full of pity for Christopher that she was willing to give him anything short of her firstborn. She ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

... was—your mammy. Upon my bosom you have rested; my breasts once gave you nourishment; my hands once ministered to you; my arms sheltered you, and my heart loved you and mourned you like a mother loves and mourns her firstborn." ...
— The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, and - Selected Essays • Charles Waddell Chesnutt

... not superhuman; by their mistaken attempts. It is by and through human ties of love and sympathy that the Self unfolds. It is said of the Masters that They love all humanity as a mother loves her firstborn son. Their love is not love watered down to coolness, but love for all raised to the heat of the highest particular loves of smaller souls. Always mistrust the teacher who tells you to kill out love, to be indifferent ...
— An Introduction to Yoga • Annie Besant

... pray for you in my other world. Get Dilly to make you that boiled rice every night after your brainwork. Years and years I loved you, O, my son, my firstborn, when you ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... husband showers Shall bless the fruitful Maia's bed, We'll bring the firstborn of her flowers To kiss thy feet, and crown thy head: To thee, dear Lamb! whose love must keep The shepherds while they feed ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... fulfilled her months, Her firstborn came forth like a lamb. There was no bursting, no rending, No injury, no hurt, In order to emphasise his divinity. Did not God give her comfort? Had He not accepted her sacrifice, So that thus easily she ...
— Religions of Ancient China • Herbert A. Giles

... not move from the cot, hoping awhile that she might come in, dew-footed, and yet kiss him. That clear shining of the face which one sometimes observes in pure-minded devotees, or in young mothers over their firstborn, gave him a look of nobility in the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, August, 1885 • Various

... and sink into the heart: "The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." And Joseph is moved by what he thinks to be a mistake, and would correct it, so as to give the larger blessing to his firstborn. But Jacob refuses. "I know it, my son, I know it ... he also shall be great, but truly his younger brother shall be greater ...
— The Thread of Gold • Arthur Christopher Benson

... was some few days buried in the churchyard of this parish of Ditchingham, I dreamed a very vivid dream as I slept one night at my wife's side. I dreamed that my dead children, the four of them, for the tallest lad bore in his arms my firstborn, that infant who died in the great siege, came to me as they had often come when I ruled the people of the Otomie in the City of Pines, and talked with me, giving me flowers and kissing my hands. I looked upon their strength ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... the purest source of truth, and repository of the religious idea; the fringes in the garments, the phylacteries or frontlets, the inscriptions on the door-posts, and such like commemorative means; the redemption of the firstborn children; and the offering of the first fruits, as a demonstration of filial dependance on, and gratitude to, the Supreme Cause; the prohibition to feed on certain loathsome animals, and reptiles and insects, ...
— A Guide for the Religious Instruction of Jewish Youth • Isaac Samuele Reggio

... one of our old divines, with the quaintness characteristic of his day, 'resemble the two sons of the patriarch; Reason is the firstborn, but Faith inherits the blessing. The image is ingenious, and the antithesis striking; but nevertheless the sentiment is far from just. It is hardly right to represent Faith as younger than reason: the fact undoubtedly ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... there's a dear, and ask him to come here," said Mrs. Morpher, without noticing a sudden irregularity of conduct in her firstborn. ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... the silken lap in which the child was comfortably nestling, and in that attitude had a faint consciousness that Mrs. Horncastle was mischievously breathing into his curls a silent laugh. Barker lifted his firstborn with proud skillfulness, but that sagacious infant evidently knew when he was comfortable, and in a paroxysm of objection caught his father's curls with one fist, while with the other he grasped Mrs. ...
— The Three Partners • Bret Harte

... the Lord, and bow myself before the Most High God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin ...
— The New Theology • R. J. Campbell

... character of these States, whether republics or despotisms, lies, not the only, but the chief reason for the early development of the Italian. To this it is due that he was the firstborn among the sons of ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a ...
— Our Master • Bramwell Booth

... He can keep what I have committed to Him until that day." All the children of God have known, loved, and trusted their Father, and have reflected that holy light which shone with unclouded and faultless lustre in the Firstborn of all the brethren; for Jesus ever held fast His confidence in God until His last cry of faith, "Father, into Thy hands I commit ...
— Parish Papers • Norman Macleod

... voice brings us always declamation without sense or knowledge, and ridicule without good humour or conciliation. Oh, Mr. Plymley, this never will do. Mrs. Abraham Plymley, my sister, will be led away captive by an amorous Gaul; and Joel Plymley your firstborn, ...
— Peter Plymley's Letters and Selected Essays • Sydney Smith

... which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. 6 And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in ...
— The Gospel of Luke, An Exposition • Charles R. Erdman

... and soon he was plain "Doc" to all. By every mouth that opened he found Juno's name blessed, and many were the tales of what she had done. She had saved wild Jay Dawn's little girl and Lum Chapman's firstborn. She had brought old Aunt Sis Stidham back from the shadow of the grave, and had turned that tart, irreverent old person's erring feet back into ...
— In Happy Valley • John Fox

... stick and beat the Indian to purpose till she promised to do so no more." Mr. Thatcher was really a very kindly gentleman and a good Christian, but the natural solicitude of a young father over his firstborn provoked him to the telling use of the walnut stick ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... "Yet shall Sarah bear a son, though old in winters, and fate shall be fulfilled according to My word. I will bless Ishmael, thy firstborn, with My blessing as thou dost ask, that his days may be long in the land, and his race may multiply. This will I grant thee. So also will I prosper Isaac, thy younger son, who is not yet born, with every good and pleasant thing all the days of his life. And ...
— Codex Junius 11 • Unknown

... upon the spectacle of his son, folding in his arms his firstborn, they shut out for ever the things of time and sense, and consciousness that forsook him then never reoccupied its throne. He was carried from the brilliant salon of the popular actress to the home of his son; medical skill exhausted its ingenuity, and though forty-eight hours elapsed ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... hardship for the younger brothers, but then as now it was easier for men to find a place for themselves in the world than for women, and the army or the Church rarely failed to furnish some sort of career for all those who were denied the rights and privileges of the firstborn. The lot of the sister, however, was pitiful in the extreme (unless it happened that the older brother was kind and considerate), for if she were in the way she could be bundled off to a cloister, there to spend her days in solitude, or she could be married against her will, being ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" . . . This came to pass that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet: . . . "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son." And Joseph "knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called His ...
— Spiritual Life and the Word of God • Emanuel Swedenborg

... of Heaven firstborn, Or of the Eternal coeternal beam May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Or hear'st thou ...
— Paradise Lost • John Milton

... a bootless endeavour. As the flight of a bird of the air Is the flight of a joke—you will never See the same one again, you may swear. 'Twas my firstborn, and O how I prized it! My darling, my treasure, my own! This brain and none other devised it - ...
— Fly Leaves • C. S. Calverley

... and part in amorous maze Those floating arms and bounding feet. But none of all the race of Cain, Save those whom he hath deigned to grace With yellow robe and sapphire chain, May pass beyond that outer space. For now within the painted hall The Firstborn keeps high festival. Before the glittering valves all night Their post the chosen captains hold. Above the portal's stately height The legend flames in lamps of gold: "In life united and in death "May Tirzah and Ahirad be, "The bravest he of all ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 3. (of 4) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... as he announced to his friend Ruhel, his 'dear Kate brought him, by the great mercy of God, a little Hans Luther,'—her firstborn. With joy and thankfulness, as he says in another letter, they now reaped the fruit and blessings of married life, whereof the Pope and his creatures ...
— Life of Luther • Julius Koestlin

... it is allowed upon all hands is the finest baby ever sent into this naughty world since the firstborn of Eve. At a day old he would make three of any of the new-born babes that a month since blessed the Union bf Sevenoaks. There is, however, a remarkable providence in this. The Prince of Wales is born to the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... Burns blessed in his parents, especially in his father. Naturally such a father wished his children to have the best education his means could afford. It may be that he saw even in the infancy of his firstborn the promise of intellectual greatness. Certain it is he laboured, as few fathers even in Scotland have done, to have his children grow up intelligent, thoughtful, and ...
— Robert Burns - Famous Scots Series • Gabriel Setoun

... angry passions of his vast audience, and having alarmed their fears by this pretended scheme against their firstborn (an artifice which was indispensable to his purpose, because it met 30 beforehand every form of amendment to his proposal coming from the more moderate nobles, who would not otherwise have failed to insist upon trying the effect ...
— De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars • Thomas De Quincey

... is Constance, the general's firstborn," introduced Winifred, still retaining her liveliness despite Mama's low temperature. Constance was the perfect connectinglink between Winifred and her mother, not yet gray but soon to be so, without Winifred's animation, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... with anyone can imagine evil of him, but not good. (43) The theory that God does not reveal Himself to the angry or the sad, is a mere dream: for God revealed to Moses while angry, the terrible slaughter of the firstborn, and did so without the intervention of a harp. (44) To Cain in his rage, God was revealed, and to Ezekiel, impatient with anger, was revealed the contumacy and wretchedness of the Jews. (45) Jeremiah, miserable and weary of life, prophesied the disasters of the Hebrews, so ...
— A Theologico-Political Treatise [Part I] • Benedict de Spinoza

... firstborn son, the son of Ra, and Tem and the Company of the gods have commanded me to heal Horus for his mother Isis, and to heal him that is under the knife likewise. O Horus, O Horus, thy Ka protecteth thee, and thy Image worketh protection for thee. The poison ...
— Legends Of The Gods - The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations • E. A. Wallis Budge

... was called, had taken his medical degree, and, by the indulgence of his father, whose heart yearned sympathetically toward his firstborn, opportunity was afforded him to spend a year in Paris. Mrs. Meeker groaned over this unnecessary expense. When she saw that on this occasion she was not to have her own way, she insisted that the money her husband was wasting on Frank should be charged ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No. V, May, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... months old, lusty, strong, and beautiful, as only children born of great love and under healthful conditions can be. This child was a girl, to Alessandro's delight; to Ramona's regret,—so far as a loving mother can feel regret connected with her firstborn. Ramona had wished for an Alessandro; but the disappointed wish faded out of her thoughts, hour by hour, as she gazed into her baby-girl's blue eyes,—eyes so blue that their color was the first thing noticed by each person who looked ...
— Ramona • Helen Hunt Jackson

... Phoenicians had been brought into close contact with the Greeks. In the older days of Canaanitish history human sacrifice had held a foremost place in the ritual of Syria. It was the sacrifice of the firstborn son that was demanded in times of danger and trouble, or when the family was called upon to make a special atonement for sin. The victim was offered as a burnt sacrifice, which in Hebrew idiom was euphemistically described ...
— Patriarchal Palestine • Archibald Henry Sayce

... to have appeared to her sons, and accosting Rhiwallon, her firstborn, to have informed him that he was to be a benefactor to mankind, through healing all manner of their diseases, and she furnished him with prescriptions and instructions for the preservation of health. Then, promising to meet him when her counsel was most needed, she vanished. On ...
— Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales • Elias Owen

... Death! Come to the mother, when she feels For the first time her firstborn's breath; Come when the blessed seals That close the pestilence are broke, And crowded cities wail its stroke; Come in consumption's ghastly form, The earthquake's shock, the ocean storm; Come when the heart beats ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... We spent our energies in profitless work; but now we bear fruit unto God. We were lonely and isolated, but now have come to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the innumerable company of angels, and to the Church of the Firstborn. Our prayers were aimless and ineffective; but now we have the petitions we desired. New hope and joy have filled our hearts, as the ruddy clusters hang full and ripe in the autumn. Prove Him for yourself and see if this shall not be so for you also. Only give yourself ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... falling to the share of each inhabitant. In order to support the 1,500,000 inhabitants distributed in Thibet, upon a surface of 1,200,000 square kilometres, the Buddhists were forced to adopt polyandry. Moreover, each family is bound to enter one of its members in a religious order. The firstborn is consecrated to a gonpa, which is inevitably found upon an elevation, at the entrance of every village. As soon as the child attains the age of eighteen years, he is entrusted to the caravans which pass Lhassa, where ...
— The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ - The Original Text of Nicolas Notovitch's 1887 Discovery • Nicolas Notovitch

... when his father and mother were rowing across the Solent, they saw a heron. His father described this incident in the following language: "One dark heron flew over the sea, backed by a daffodil sky." Similarly, Lyall, writing with the enthusiasm of a young father for his firstborn, said: "The child has eyes like the fish-pools of Heshbon, with wondrous depth of intelligent gaze." But, though a poet, it would be a great error to suppose that Lyall was an idealist, if by that ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... George Esmond, her firstborn, when this little matter was referred to him, and his mother vehemently insisted that he should declare himself, was of the opinion of Mr. Washington, and Mr. Draper, the London lawyer. The boy said he could ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... for her father's ambition. As the pope was not satisfied with an empty triumph of vanity and display for his son, and as his war with the Orsini had failed to produce the anticipated results, he decided to increase the fortune of his firstborn by doing the very thing which he had accused Calixtus in his speech of doing for him, viz., alienating from the States of the Church the cities of Benevento, Terracino, and Pontecorvo to form, a duchy as an appanage to his son's house. Accordingly this proposition was put forward ...
— The Borgias - Celebrated Crimes • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... "I's the firstborn chile and my mommer have two gal chillen, me and Hannah, and she have seven boy. Where I's born was old wild country and old Virginny run down thataway. Everything was plenty good to eat and I seed strawberries what would push you to git 'em in ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. - Texas Narratives, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... I do this? It is not because I am a coward, for there are few men who are in reality braver than I am. I carried my firstborn in my arms round the drawing-room when she was a week old, and I have done other things equally brave, the enumeration of which I spare you. But I could no more think of getting my hair cut without previously informing ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Jan. 8, 1919 • Various

... Tarbox, as the division of the spoil was being made, "there is a young maiden whom we all know in the settlement, the firstborn here, and the only one alive of our countrymen and countrywomen who once dwelt in the land. She is dowerless and friendless, except her young brother and an old grandfather, who maybe sleeps in his grave by this time. I am ready to give half of my share, and ...
— The Settlers - A Tale of Virginia • William H. G. Kingston

... am proud of them all, living or dead—here or there. So I said, 'Well, Miss Harlow, John is not my firstborn. There was a lovely little girl, who went back to God before she was quite a year old. People said I ought to think it a great honor to give my first child to God, but it was a great grief to me. Soon after her death John was born, and after John came Clara Ann. She married before she ...
— The Measure of a Man • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... looked on his firstborn with more pleasure than a barrister on his first brief. If the Tower guns were announcing the birth of an heir to the Throne, he would not look up to ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... circumstances, he had not improved. His entire lack of tact and refinement was painful to his young wife, whose tenderest feelings he ruthlessly and thoughtlessly trampled upon. Things were looking unpromising, when, happily for her, Madame Godefroy died in giving birth to her firstborn. When he spoke of his deceased wife, the banker waxed poetical, although had she lived they would have been divorced in six months. His son he loved dearly for several reasons—first, because the child was an only son; secondly, because he was ...
— The Lost Child - 1894 • Francois Edouard Joachim Coppee



Words linked to "Firstborn" :   issue, progeny, first, offspring



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