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a priori

[ey prahy-awr-ahy, -ohr-ahy, ey pree-awr-ee, -ohr-ee, ah pree-awr-ee, -ohr-ee] /ˌeɪ praɪˈɔr aɪ, -ˈoʊr aɪ, ˌeɪ priˈɔr i, -ˈoʊr i, ˌɑ priˈɔr i, -ˈoʊr i/
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 forms
[ey-prahy-awr-i-tee, -or-] /ˌeɪ praɪˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for a priori
  • Now, let me say that I have a priori suspicions, prejudices mainly.
  • But this isn't a book you buy for the a priori dissection.
  • There exists only one class of aggregation devices which do not require a priori privileging of some preferences.
  • We do not want the Bulletin's editorials to degenerate into a mere repetition of commonly held, but erroneous, a priori notions.
  • He takes its reality as given a priori, and doesn't rack his brains about it.
  • Space and time do not constitute an a priori continuum.
  • Based on this, it cannot a priori be ruled out that we could do the same thing with our legal system.
  • Acceptance or rejection of his ideas is dependent on his readers' a priori subjective beliefs.
  • Of course this would be decided and announced a priori.
  • I've got your argument that there is no a priori reason to privilege any position over another.
British Dictionary definitions for a priori

a priori

/eɪ praɪˈɔːraɪ; ɑː prɪˈɔːrɪ/
(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
Compare a posteriori, analytic (sense 4)
Derived Forms
apriority (ˌeɪpraɪˈɒrɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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