a priori

[ey prahy-awr-ahy, -ohr-ahy, ey pree-awr-ee, -ohr-ee, ah pree-awr-ee, -ohr-ee]


from a general law to a particular instance; valid independently of observation.Compare a posteriori(def 1).
existing in the mind prior to and independent of experience, as a faculty or character trait.Compare a posteriori(def 2).
not based on prior study or examination; nonanalytic: an a priori judgment.

Origin of a priori

1645–55; < Latin: literally, from the one before. See a-4, prior1
Related formsa·pri·or·i·ty [ey-prahy-awr-i-tee, -or-] /ˌeɪ praɪˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/, noun
Can be confusedad hoc a posteriori a priori ex post facto prima facie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for a priori

Historical Examples of a priori

  • But, the conclusion once reached, he stood on it as an a-priori breathing-spot.

  • Mind, again, as just a-priori principle and basis of all things, is manifestly their universal "Quality."

  • This is Kant's a-priori synthetical unit, common and necessary to all "things" and to all "experience."

  • However, it is impossible to arrive at a final definition of intelligence on the basis of a-priori considerations alone.

  • The vast majority of the interpretations have been simply due to a-priori prepossessions, which are arbitrary and baseless.

British Dictionary definitions for a priori

a priori


logic relating to or involving deductive reasoning from a general principle to the expected facts or effects
logic known to be true independently of or in advance of experience of the subject matter; requiring no evidence for its validation or support
Derived Formsapriority (ˌeɪpraɪˈɒrɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for a priori

C18: from Latin, literally: from the previous (that is, from cause to effect)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for a priori

1710, "from cause to effect" (a logical term, in reference to reasoning), Latin, literally "from what comes first," from priori, ablative of prior "first" (see prior (adj.)). Used loosely for "in accordance with previous knowledge" (1834).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper