primary (v)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 11 05:32:29 UTC 2007

On 9/10/07, Alan Knutson <boris at> wrote:
> Found on Chris Cillizza's blog "The Fix" at the Washington Post dated
> 9/10/07:
> Johanns appears to be the preferred choice of many national Republicans
> but Bruning has been running for months (he had planned to primary
> Hagel) and has a following in Nebraska.

The verb "primary" is now in the OED (June 2007 draft entries), with
the modern transitive sense dating to 1982. Most of the cites for the
entry were first posted here:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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