from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective decaying at an exponential rate; -- a mathematical concept applied to various types of decay, such as radioactivity and chemical reactions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective mathematics, logic Describing the simplest of many models, languages, relationship, forms of logical discourse etc, or the first in a numerical sequence of such things.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • However, this first-order effect is not the only way that interreligious marriage can affect interreligious relations.

    American Grace Robert D. Putnam 2010

  • (The first-order objective was the removal of Saddam as a threat — that was achieved.)

    Matthew Yglesias » Signaling and Terrorism 2010

  • There are alarming signs that he lacks the emotional intelligence that a first-order statesman needs if they are to take a seat at the table of political history – forming alliances, building support, accruing political capital, nudging, cajoling.

    The political and personal failings of David Cameron | Observer editorial 2011

  • Note that this is only a first-order analysis, and does not account for road networks or flight paths, border effects, idling times, switching costs, or aesthetic factors. » Blog Archive » Bushbuddy and Littlbug Wood Stoves 2009

  • Specialized appliances find their sweet spot in the market as an abstraction layer for complex functionality that fits poorly in vanilla server hardware (think core routers) or by using the appliance as an interface to unique functionality that offers more than just first-order convenience (e.g. some database analytics appliances).

    Schooner Launches Specialized Servers for Speedy Data Delivery 2009

  • CBZ follows first-order, nonsaturable kinetics. 1,2 CBZ is metabolized in the liver to several metabolites, the primary metabolite being CBZ-10,11 epoxide (CBZ-E) .1,2 CBZ-E possesses anticonvulsant activity similar to the parent drug.

    Carbamazepine 2010

  • Germany's mistake was to consider only first-order effects on bank capital, whereas it would be the second-order contagion effects on government and bank borrowing costs that would do the greatest damage.

    Don't Believe These Greek Myths Simon Nixon 2011

  • What commands a greater audience are arguments that occupation — and, now, the invasion and bombardment and blockade of Gaza — are first-order Israeli security interests.

    The Invasion | ATTACKERMAN 2009

  • Mr. Obama may be hobbled by a poor economy and unpopular policies, but he is a first-order campaigner.

    Mr. Good Enough Kimberley A. Strassel 2012

  • You reasoned that a first-order response would have been impractical because it would require research on both your own part and on the part of your opponent, so you went on to a second order response.

    Perils of pop philosophy 2009


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