prius

prius

[prahy-uhs]
adjective
(in prescriptions) before; former.

Origin:
1890–95; < Latin

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Prius

[pree-uhs]
noun, plural Prius, Prii [pree-ahy] . Trademark.
a brand of hybrid car, one of the first commercially successful, that runs at lower speeds on an electric motor powered by a battery pack, and at higher speeds on a gasoline engine, which can also recharge the battery.

Origin:
1997; from the Latin prius meaning “coming before”; also related to such English words as “prior” and “primary”


“In hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, computer software decides when to run the [gasoline] engine, when to run the electric motor and when to recharge the battery. … A full hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, can provide a fuel economy improvement of 60 percent or more.“
—Joseph J. Romm and Andrew A. Fran, “Hybrid Vehicles Gain Traction“ Scientific American (April 2006)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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