prior

1
[ prahy-er ]
/ ˈpraɪ ər /

adjective

preceding in time or in order; earlier or former; previous: A prior agreement prevents me from accepting this.
preceding in importance or privilege.

noun

Informal. a prior conviction.

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Idioms for prior

    prior to, preceding; before: Prior to that time, buffalo had roamed the Great Plains in tremendous numbers.

Origin of prior

1
1705–15; <Latin: former, elder, superior (adj.), before (adv.); akin to prime, pre-

OTHER WORDS FROM prior

pri·or·ly, adverb

Definition for prior (2 of 3)

prior2
[ prahy-er ]
/ ˈpraɪ ər /

noun

an officer in a monastic order or religious house, sometimes next in rank below an abbot.
a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.

Origin of prior

2
before 1100; Middle English, late Old English <Medieval Latin, Late Latin: one superior in rank; noun use of priorprior1

OTHER WORDS FROM prior

pri·or·ship, nounsub·pri·or·ship, noun

Definition for prior (3 of 3)

Prior
[ prahy-er ]
/ ˈpraɪ ər /

noun

Matthew, 1664–1721, English poet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for prior

British Dictionary definitions for prior (1 of 3)

prior1
/ (ˈpraɪə) /

adjective

(prenominal) previous; preceding
prior to before; until

noun

statistics a prior probability

Word Origin for prior

C18: from Latin: previous

British Dictionary definitions for prior (2 of 3)

prior2
/ (ˈpraɪə) /

noun

the superior of a house and community in certain religious orders
the deputy head of a monastery or abbey, ranking immediately below the abbot
(formerly) a chief magistrate in medieval Florence and other Italian republics

Word Origin for prior

C11: from Late Latin: head, from Latin (adj): previous, from Old Latin pri before

British Dictionary definitions for prior (3 of 3)

Prior
/ (ˈpraɪə) /

noun

Matthew. 1664–1721, English poet and diplomat, noted for his epigrammatic occasional verse
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