15 Words for Someone Who Is the First to Do Something

There are several simple words we can use in referring to a person who created or started something, thanks to the inclusiveness of the English Dictionary.

If you are wondering how to refer to a person who brought an idea, you have found your answer. If you are looking for the words that qualify a person who started something, your answer is before you.

If you are also looking for names to give a person who built something, then here is your answer.

15 Words for someone who is the first to do something

We have compiled 15 different words from the English Dictionary that can be used to address a person who first did something.

  1. Pioneer
  2. Progenitor
  3. Inaugurator
  4. Innovator
  5. Example
  6. Groundbreaker
  7. Father
  8. Founder
  9. Spearhead
  10. Author
  11. Inventor
  12. Initiator
  13. Seminal
  14. Lord
  15. Creator


A person who is first to do something can be called a pioneer. He/she may also be among the earliest people to engage in the activity.

The Oxford Dictionary also defines Pioneer as ‘one who goes before, as into the wilderness, preparing the way for others to follow.’

A pioneer is one who tests out the waters before people start engaging in the same activity. A pioneer acts as an example for others to see before they can decide whether to copy him/her or not. However, a person may fail to be recognized as a pioneer if the activity fails and no one follows.

Pioneer is suitable for referring to someone who is among the first set of people to influence others to do something. He/she may not be the first person. In this case, he/she is referred to as ‘one of the pioneers’.


  • He is one of the pioneers of the agriculture business.


Words for Someone Who Is the First to Do Something

Someone who started something can be called a progenitor. It can refer to someone who built a place. It can also refer to someone who came before, just like ‘Pioneer’ does.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a progenitor is ‘someone who originates something’. It is also defined as ‘a predecessor of something’.

Progenitor refers to someone to whom the creation of an idea or thing is attributed. A progenitor is recognized as the creator of the idea of the person who brought something into existence.

The word is also used to refer to something that comes before another. For example, it is used to refer to ancestors or predecessors of a tribe.

You can call a person a progenitor if he/she originated something. You can also call a product a progenitor if another product has evolved from it.


  • That computer is a progenitor of modern laptops.


An inaugurator is one who brings an idea into existence. This is the word for someone who built something, irrespective of who brought the idea for the building.

The creator of the building is recognized as the inaugurator and, if the owner of the idea is never revealed, the inaugurator is assumed to be the brain behind the building.

An inaugurator isn’t necessarily the first to introduce an idea but has to be the one to bring it to existence before anyone else.


  • James was the inaugurator at our last meeting.


You can use ‘Innovator’ in addressing the first person or persons to do something. This has more to do with ideas. You can use this in referring to the creator of an idea.

An Innovator is a person who brought an idea or effected it. You can call a person an Innovator if he/she suggests an idea that is soon adopted by several people.

It is also used to refer to a person who makes a change that continues in a place for a long time. In the marketing field, an Innovator is one of the early adopters of a product or service, serving as an example for others who will do the same.

An Innovator doesn’t necessarily bring an idea to life but has to be the one who owns the idea and presents it.


  • It’s a great one. Who’s the Innovator?


An Example can be a person who is viewed as imitable. With people look up to someone as an example, they follow in his/her footsteps and he/she is noted to have pioneered the steps they are taking. An example can also be bad and still be imitated by people who want to follow that path.

Every pioneer is an example while not all examples are pioneers. However, every Example can be a pioneer, depending on how influential they are.


  • Theo was an example for others to follow


Words for Someone Who Is the First to Do Something

A groundbreaker is an Innovator. You can give this name to someone who creates a new idea out of existing ones. This refers to a person who starts something new that is being followed or capable of being followed for a long time.

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Groundbreaker’ as ‘the first person to do something, make something, or fight for something’

A groundbreaker is a person who not only starts something new but also gets other people to continue what he/she has started. A person is recognized as a groundbreaker if able to influence others by being an example.

For example, you can be a groundbreaker for a certain business if you are the first to bring the business into a community and you are able to get people to try getting into the same business.


  • He is a groundbreaker in the fashion Industry.


Father is used to refer to many things. It isn’t only a word for a male parent. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a father can be any male predecessor, founder of a discipline, or a man who introduces an idea to be used by others.

A father is a person who has come before others in doing something and is often mentioned as an example to be imitated. While a founding father may not have spearheaded something, he/she may be among the earliest examples.

‘Father’ can be used in the same way as ‘Pioneer’ when referring to founders and innovators.


  • That is a portrait of the father of Capitalism.


Founder is the most common word used to refer to a person who established something or led it. It is mostly used to refer to the creation of institutions and also refers to the creation of theories.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a founder is a person who establishes.

A founder is the establisher of an organization or Institution. While the word can also be used for ideas, it is mostly used to refer to organizations. A founder is the presenter of an idea. Unless he/she publicly states that the idea is by another person, he/she will be assumed as the Innovator of the idea.

One of the best words to use for someone who is the first to do something is ‘Founder’.


  • He is the founder of the club.


The idea of establishing might seem too wide. A person can simply be the first to do something in a certain place. A new idea in a state doesn’t have to be a new idea in the country. A new idea in a country also doesn’t have to be a new idea in the world.

The word for a person who is the first to do something in a place can be ‘Head’. This is often used to refer to someone who is leading a pack of other people. The fact that a person is the ‘first’ to do something suggests that there are other people who have done the same thing after.

A head is someone who has spearheaded something. It has to do with an actual action than an idea. This refers to a person who steps forward as an example for others to follow. However, a head may simply be the leader of the pioneers. Being head suggests that he/she is leading other people.

‘Head’ is the name for the leader of a group of pioneers or people who made or did something. A head also often takes the first step.


  • That man is the head of the protesters.


This is one of the best ways to refer to a person who pioneered an idea. However, while more focus is usually placed on who presented the idea, this puts more emphasis on the creator of the idea. According to the Oxford Dictionary, an author is the originator or creator of a work, especially a literary composition.

An author is the creator of an idea and will only be recognized as who first brought the idea if he/she is the first to present it.

Rather than the action, the author is taking credit for the idea behind the action.


  • He’s the author of our master plan.


A Person Who creates something new is an inventor. This isn’t simply presenting an idea to a set of people or introducing something new to a place. Being an inventor suggests you own the idea and you are bringing it to life.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an inventor creates something new or designs a new process for something.

An inventor is someone who brings ideas to change existing theories. He/she becomes recognized as an inventor when people continue with your idea.

Just like Founder, Inventor is a popular word for a person who creates and presents something new.


  • I am one of the inventors of that machine.


‘Initiating’ means introducing. This is another word for a person who is the first to do something. You can call a person an initiator if he/she started something first, even if someone else completed it. The Oxford Dictionary defines Initiator as one who takes the first act, begins, or introduces something’

An Initiator refers to someone who made us know something else by being the first to indulge in the act. 

This can refer to who brought an idea. However, an initiator is assumed to be the presenter rather than the thinker


  • Who is the Initiator of this riot?


This is an essential feature of a person who will probably be the first to do something. You can call a person seminal if he/she started something or if what he/she did influenced several people to do the same.

The Oxford Dictionary defines seminal as ‘highly influential, especially in some original way, and providing a basis for future developments and research’

A seminal person can be the first person or among the first person to do something. A person can also be called Seminal if he/she has started something that will be completed by others in the future.

A Seminal person is an influential initiator.


  • His machine is Seminal and will pioneer a new age in the Industry.


This refers to the origin point of something or someone and may not refer to a person. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘the origin or point at which something comes into being’.

A person can be a genesis if he/she started something or somehow led to the creation or evolution of something. A genesis can be the one that made certain changes still being used.

Genesis is a metaphor in nature and simply refers to a point where something evolves from.


  • That man is the genesis of our organization.


This is one of the simplest words for a founder or the person commended for the creation of something. The Oxford Dictionary defines Creator as ‘someone or something that brings something into existence’.

A creator is a person who makes something whether from scratch and out of nothing or out of other materials.

You can be tagged as a creator of something from the origin. You can also be tagged as a creator for the origin of an evolution.


  • He’s the creator of our new-age machines

The most common name for someone who started something is ‘Founder’. Other nice words you can use are Initiator, Genesis, Pioneer, etc.

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