[prahy-awr-i-tee, -or-]
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

nonpriority, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
priority (praɪˈɒrɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  the condition of being prior; antecedence; precedence
2.  the right of precedence over others
3.  something given specified attention: my first priority

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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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. priorite (14c.), from M.L. prioritatem (nom. prioritas) "fact or condition of being prior," from L. prior (see prior (adj.)). Prioritize is first recorded 1973, apparently coined during the 1972 U.S. presidential election.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
This rare and reclusive animal is a major conservation priority in Haiti.
At this year's show we made it a priority to reach out to new customers.
That's why vaccines are the foundation's number one priority.
You can change the priority of any of these factors to increase or decrease
  their weight in any search.
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