prior

1 [prahy-er]
adjective
1.
preceding in time or in order; earlier or former; previous: A prior agreement prevents me from accepting this.
2.
preceding in importance or privilege.
noun
3.
Informal. a prior conviction.
Idioms
4.
prior to, preceding; before: Prior to that time, buffalo had roamed the Great Plains in tremendous numbers.

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

priorly, adverb


1. anterior, antecedent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

prior

2 [prahy-er]
noun
1.
an officer in a monastic order or religious house, sometimes next in rank below an abbot.
2.
a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.

Origin:
before 1100; Middle English, late Old English < Medieval Latin, Late Latin: one superior in rank; noun use of prior prior1

priorship, noun
subpriorship, noun

Prior

[prahy-er]
noun
Matthew, 1664–1721, English poet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prior1 (ˈpraɪə)
 
adj
1.  (prenominal) previous; preceding
2.  prior to before; until
 
n
3.  statistics a prior probability
 
[C18: from Latin: previous]

prior2 (ˈpraɪə)
 
n
1.  the superior of a house and community in certain religious orders
2.  the deputy head of a monastery or abbey, ranking immediately below the abbot
3.  (formerly) a chief magistrate in medieval Florence and other Italian republics
 
[C11: from Late Latin: head, from Latin (adj): previous, from Old Latin pri before]

Prior (ˈpraɪə)
 
n
Matthew. 1664--1721, English poet and diplomat, noted for his epigrammatic occasional verse

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

prior
1714, from L. prior "former, superior," comparative of Old L. pri "before" (see prime), related to L. præ "before" (see pre-).

prior
"superior officer of a religious house or order," 1093, from L. prior "former, superior" (see prior (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

prior definition


  1. n.
    a prior arrest. (Underworld.) : This guy has about fifteen priors.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences for prior
These appointees rarely had prior experience in postal service and mail
  delivery.
Prior to discussing the conjugable words, a brief note about stem forms.
The party leaders are elected prior to the general elections by party
  memberships.
Several of the films were shown first on uk television prior to their dvd
  release.
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