Definition of at first in English:

at first


  • At the beginning; in the initial stage or stages.

    ‘at first Hugo tried to be patient’
    • ‘He seemed a bit nervous at first but soon settled and gave his usual comic performance.’
    • ‘You do have to be a bit of a contortionist at first to engage gear, but it is a sportsbike after all.’
    • ‘The driver had not wanted to take him at first because he was so drunk he had to be supported by three women.’
    • ‘He was fine at first then complained about not feeling well and went back to bed.’
    • ‘She's the daughter of an opera singer, and at first she didn't want to go into opera.’
    • ‘It was difficult to get funding at first but now there is a consortium of people who have put money into it.’
    • ‘The guy was reluctant at first and refused to come with me, but I could tell he needed my help.’
    • ‘It can be a bit daunting at first but once they get started and have a go they really enjoy it and learn quickly.’
    • ‘We were a bit dubious about doing the programme at first, but we really enjoyed making it.’
    • ‘He was struck by the car as he walked home from a wedding, and at first it was feared he might not survive.’
    at first, to begin with, at the beginning, at the start, first of all, at the outset, initially
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