Definition of at first in US English:

at first


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

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