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.
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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
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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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Example sentences
We used redwood for the frames, which was protected with a water-based sealer
  prior to attaching the panels.
To ensure full consideration, application materials should be submitted prior
  to this date.
Finalists for the position will be notified prior to completion of background
  and reference checks.
Each author must disclose if another party had the right to review the paper
  prior to its circulation.
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