Dictionary.com

prior

1
[ prahy-er ]
/ ˈpraɪ ər /
Save This Word!

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.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Idioms about 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

Other definitions 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

Other definitions 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. 2021

How to use prior in a sentence

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
FEEDBACK