Definition of prime minister noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


prime minister

BrE BrE//ˌpraɪm ˈmɪnɪstə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌpraɪm ˈmɪnɪstər//
(also Prime Minister) (abbreviation PM)
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the main minister and leader of the government in some countries Cultureprime ministerOriginally, the king or queen could choose anyone they liked to be chief or ‘Prime’ Minister, and for a long time the British prime minister could come from either the House of Lords or the House of Commons. In recent years the Prime Minister has always come from the Commons and the king or queen gives the job to the leader of the party with the largest number of MPs. Lord Home, who became leader of the Conservative Party in 1963, was the first politician to be allowed to renounce a peerage (= give up an inherited title and status) to become Prime Minister as Sir Alec Douglas-Home.The Prime Minister is by tradition First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. He or she chooses and presides over the Cabinet and heads the government. Unlike an American President, a British prime minister can remain in the job as long as the party he or she represents is in power. Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister, served for eleven and a half years until the Conservative party voted to replace her. The Prime Minister chooses senior ministers and recommends their appointment to the king or queen. While other ministers are responsible for particular departments of government, the Prime Minister is concerned with policy as a whole. Cabinet committees usually report directly to him or her. The Prime Minister has regular meetings with the king or queen to inform him or her of the activities of the government.The Prime Minister lives at 10 Downing Street, above the offices used by the Cabinet, and is often photographed outside the front door. Chequers, in the countryside outside London, is also an official home for the Prime Minister and is used at weekends and for more informal meetings.Extra examples He served briefly as prime minister from 1920 to 1921. The beleaguered prime minister is coming under more pressure. I had a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister. I would like to welcome Prime Minister Cameron. She soon emerged as a strong prime minister. The games were opened by the prime minister of Thailand. This is the biography of the former Labour prime minister, Lord Callaghan.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prime minister

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