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priority

[prahy-awr-i-tee, -or-] /praɪˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/
noun, plural priorities for 2–4.
1.
the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
2.
the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
3.
the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., especially during a shortage.
4.
something given special attention.
adjective
5.
highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.:
a priority task.
Origin of priority
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French priorite < Medieval Latin priōritās. See prior1, -ity
Related forms
nonpriority, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for priority
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To determine the question of priority in such matters is neither easy nor important.

  • The priority of the records to the events admits of no question.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • Had he asked me to show why action here should have priority over action in France, then I might have been of some use.

  • I shall feel that I have a right to be proud of you, from priority of acquaintance.'

    Heartsease Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The War Office members decided as to the priority of the various demands made upon the railway companies.

    Deeds of a Great Railway G. R. S. Darroch
British Dictionary definitions for priority

priority

/praɪˈɒrɪtɪ/
noun (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 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 priority
n.

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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