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Prime

(l syl.). In the Catholic Church the first canonical hour after lauds. Milton terms sunrise “that sweet hour of prime.” (Paradise Lost, bk. v. 170.)

“All night long ... came the sound of chanting ... as the monks sang the service of matins, lauds, and prime.” —Shorthouse: John Inglesant, chap. 1. p. 10.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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