Prior meaning

prī'ər
Prior means having happened in the past.

An example of prior is a criminal conviction that happened ten years ago.

adjective
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2
Preceding in time or order.
adjective
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1
Preceding in importance or value.

A prior consideration.

adjective
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The definition of a prior is the head of a home where monks live.

An example of a prior is the person in charge of a religious house such as a priory.

noun
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One of the ruling magistrates of the medieval Italian republic of Florence.
noun
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Preceding in time; earlier; previous; former.
adjective
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Preceding in order or importance; preferred.

A prior choice.

adjective
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The head of a priory or other religious house.
noun
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In an abbey, the person in charge next below the abbot.
noun
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Of that which comes before, in advance.

I had no prior knowledge you were coming.

adjective
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His prior residence was smaller than his current one.

adjective
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(colloquial) Previously.

The doctor had known three months prior.

adverb
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A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.
noun
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(US slang) A previous arrest or criminal conviction on someone's record. [from 19th c.]
noun
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(statistics) In Bayesian inference, a prior probability distribution. [from 20th c.]
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A monastic officer in charge of a priory or ranking next below the abbot of an abbey.
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1664-1721; Eng. poet.
proper name
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prior to
  • Before in time.
idiom
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of prior

  • Middle English priour from Old English Old French prior both from Medieval Latin from Latin superior per1 in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Latin prior2
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Latin prior
    From Wiktionary