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[prahy-awr-i-tee, -or-] /praɪˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/
noun, plural priorities for 2–4.
the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., especially during a shortage.
something given special attention.
highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.:
a priority task.
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French priorite < Medieval Latin priōritās. See prior1, -ity
Related forms
nonpriority, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for priorities
  • For many corporate leaders it is a vital part of their attempt to motivate employees and to set priorities.
  • The label highlights the regions as priorities for the world's conservation efforts.
  • It triggers the light sequence to priorities my light to change to green.
  • For some of the questions, it is a matter of examining perception of priorities rather than a true tradeoff.
  • If the elections results are too close to call in advance, it's easy to predict several of the next government's top priorities.
  • The costs of protection against extreme natural disasters are juggled with other public priorities.
  • There's no shortage of technology priorities for the country at this time.
  • Henry said many of the review's new priorities would be reflected in the budget plan.
  • What a sad statement that is about humanity and our screwed up priorities.
  • The no-loan programs vary quite a bit, depending on each college's priorities and its financial resources.
British Dictionary definitions for priorities


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of being prior; antecedence; precedence
the right of precedence over others
something given specified attention: my first priority
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 priorities



late 14c., "state of being earlier," from Old French priorite (14c.), from Medieval Latin prioritatem (nominative prioritas) "fact or condition of being prior," from Latin prior (see prior (adj.)). From c.1400 as "precedence in right or rank."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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