Humanities › English Premier vs. Premiere: How to Choose the Right Word World Leader or New Play? Share Flipboard Email Print Matthew Ashton / Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing Table of Contents Expand How to Use "Premier" How to Use "Premiere" Examples How to Remember the Difference Sources By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated April 07, 2019 The words "premier" and "premiere" are related in meaning—but they're not interchangeable. "Premier," which entered the English language first, originated with the Latin word primarius, meaning "principal." "Premiere," which didn't enter the English language until the 19th century, comes from France. How to Use "Premier" The word "premier" can be used as a noun or an adjective. As a noun, it relates to heads of state. Many nations have premiers rather than presidents, kings, or emperors. As an adjective, "premier" means the best, top-notch, or first in rank; for example, "The Smithsonian Institution is America's premier museum," or "New York is the premier location for top-quality theater." How to Use "Premiere" Traditionally, the word "premiere" has been used as a noun, meaning "a first public performance," as in "the premiere of the newest Disney movie." Since the 1930s, however, the word has gained traction as a verb with essentially the same meaning, as in "The new Disney movie will premiere in Los Angeles"). Because the word "premiere" invariably relates to a production of some sort, it is often used in advertising. The word, of course, implies "newness," but it is possible to premiere a play, which then premieres as a movie and then later premieres as a television production. "Premiere" is used less often to describe the first appearance of an actor or actress, as in "Bill Smith's premiere performance." Examples The following examples make it clear that a premier is a political leader; a person, place, or thing described as premier is the best of its kind; and a premiere is an event. The prime minister was briefed on the case before meeting the Spanish premier. (The Spanish "premier" is the head of his country.)The premier attended the premiere of the new Spielberg movie. (The head of a country attended the first showing of a movie.)This remarkable vineyard makes a premier chablis. (In this sentence the word "extraordinary" or "excellent" could be substituted for "premier.")The Bayreuth Festival began with the world premiere of the Ring cycle in 1876. (In this case, "premiere" is used to describe the first-ever presentation of a set of operas.)Former Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie premiered her new video over the weekend. (In this case, "premiere" is used as a verb meaning "showed for the first time.")Joe Smith premiered in the movie "Death by Accident" and later appeared in a long series of murder mysteries. (In this sentence, the word "premiere" is used to mean appeared for the first time.) How to Remember the Difference One of the best ways to choose correctly between "premiere" and "premier" is to connect the "e" at the end of "premiere" with the idea of entertainment, which begins with an "e." If the subject at hand is the opening of some type of production, such as a play or movie, choose the word that ends with the letter "e." Otherwise, choose "premier," the word without an "e" at the end. Sources "Premier vs. Premiere: What's the Difference?" Writing Explained, 24 Oct. 2015. "Premiere." Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster.