Definition of (the) first among equals in English:

(the) first among equals

phrase

  • 1The person or thing having the highest status in a group.

    ‘the clerk was regarded as first among equals by the other chief officers’
    • ‘In the past, the Pope of Alexandria was merely the first among equals, and reform movements had foundered on the autonomy of Egypt's bishops.’
    • ‘Sorry Campbell, you may be the first among equals, but you ain't the boss.’
    • ‘Although America might be first among equals, its conscious and unconscious existence is tightly coupled to experiences shared with its global neighbors.’
    • ‘As the first among equals, the Prime Minister will symbolically have his finger on the nuclear button.’
    • ‘This should be troubling, this complete lack of clear ideas from the man who will be our first among equals.’
    • ‘The whole tenet on which Hauser bases his fascinating book is that the human species is, as it were, first among equals.’
    • ‘The official doctrine is that the prime minister is simply the first among equals, and the rule of collective responsibility emphasizes the collegial character of the cabinet.’
    • ‘At their best, they are the best, first among equals.’
    • ‘They also recognize the Pope as the principal hierarch, the first among equals.’
    • ‘He will be the first among equals, but they will all have to prove themselves.’
  • 2

    see equal