Prior definition

prīər
Preceding in time or order.
adjective
13
8
In an abbey, the person in charge next below the abbot.
noun
7
3
The head of a priory or other religious house.
noun
6
2
Preceding in importance or value.

A prior consideration.

adjective
7
6
One of the ruling magistrates of the medieval Italian republic of Florence.
noun
4
3
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Preceding in time; earlier; previous; former.
adjective
3
2
Of that which comes before, in advance.

I had no prior knowledge you were coming.

adjective
2
1
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
2
2
Prior means having happened in the past.

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

adjective
2
2
Preceding in order or importance; preferred.

A prior choice.

adjective
2
2
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His prior residence was smaller than his current one.

adjective
1
1
(colloquial) Previously.

The doctor had known three months prior.

adverb
1
1
A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.
noun
1
1
(statistics) In Bayesian inference, a prior probability distribution. [from 20th c.]
noun
1
1
(US slang) A previous arrest or criminal conviction on someone's record. [from 19th c.]
noun
1
2
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A monastic officer in charge of a priory or ranking next below the abbot of an abbey.
noun
0
2
(person) 1664-1721; Eng. poet.
proper name
0
2
prior to
  • before in time
idiom
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
prior
Plural:
priors

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