16 Synonyms for “First of Its Kind”

Encountering something that is the “first of its kind” can be tremendously exciting! After all, in a world full of carbon copies, it’s rare that you come across something truly unique.

So, is there a word or phrase that describes something that’s the “first of its kind?” We’ve provided several below!

“First of Its Kind” Synonyms

  • Original
  • Sui generis
  • One of a kind
  • Unprecedented
  • Groundbreaking
  • Unique
  • Distinctive
  • Unparalleled
  • Unequaled
  • In a class of its own
  • Unrivaled
  • Prototype
  • Classic
  • Blueprint
  • Earliest
  • Initial


  • The best word for something that is the “first of its kind” is “original.”
  • You can also use the Latin phrase, “sui generis” to describe something unique.
  • The phrase “first of its kind” is correct in English, and it can be hyphenated into the compound adjective, “first-of-its-kind.”

Keep reading! In the next section, we’ll discuss our top alternative ways to say “first of its kind.” We’ll provide some helpful example sentences to boot.

After that, we’ll discuss whether “first of its kind” is correct in English. Should it be written as “first-of-its-kind”?


“Original” is the most appropriate word for “first of its kind.” Therefore, you can use it to describe something in its authentic and first-hand form.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word “original” as “the first one made and not a copy.” Thus, the original version of any object will be the “first of its kind.”

This could refer to an artwork, a piece of technology, or any other unique, unrivaled thing in the world. Interestingly, people often attribute special value to original versions of things, as they essentially become the blueprint for any duplications.

Consider the examples below:

This is the original draft of the screenplay for The Dark Knight, and it is worth thousands.

My grandmother’s most prized possession is the original Beksiński painting hanging macabrely in her dressing room.

Sui Generis

Another way to say “first of its kind” is “sui generis.” This is a Latin term meaning “not like anyone or anything else,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

In short, we can also define this phrase as “of its own class.” This means the object in question doesn’t fit into any category but, in fact, creates a new category of its own. Therefore, in normal conversations, you can use it as a synonym for “unique.”

Have a look at how we use this phrase in some examples:

He comes from a community with very sui generis cultural practices, and we were eager to hear his insights on the city.

Joplin was a sui generis talent, and her style is one that has never been replicated since her untimely death.

Is It Correct to Say “First of Its Kind”?

Firstly, the phrase “first of its kind” is a popular phrase. Therefore, it is perfectly correct, and English speakers use it frequently to refer to something never before seen.

Secondly, if you are unsure about whether you need to hyphenate this phrase as “first-of-its-kind,” we’ll discuss that next! Moreover, we’ll look at how to use “first of its kind” in a sentence.

In short, both “first of its kind” and “first-of-its-kind” are correct in different contexts.

“First of its kind” is simply marketing terminology that describes the uniqueness of something. Adding hyphens to this phrase would turn it into a compound adjective, which should usually precede a noun.

Therefore, the hyphenated version should come before the noun in the sentence as follows:

  •  This is a first-of-its-kind product.

On the other hand, “first of its kind” need not precede the noun and can be written like so:

  • This product is the first of its kind.

In conclusion, you can use the phrase “first of its kind” to describe a unique, original, or sui generis thing.