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[prahy-uh-ree] /ˈpraɪ ə ri/
noun, plural priories.
a religious house governed by a prior or prioress, often dependent upon an abbey.
Origin of priory
1250-1300; Middle English priorie < Medieval Latin priōria. See prior2, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for priory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At Skelton, over there on the hill, lived the Bruces of the English branch, who founded the priory.

    Motor tours in Yorkshire Mrs. Rodolph Stawell
  • His portrait hangs in one of the drawing-rooms of the priory.

  • Those of the priory of Little Dunmow, Essex, according to an old chartulary, were new cast and baptised in 1501.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • There was a letter from Aunt Rachel waiting for her at the priory.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • St. Dogmael's priory, less than two miles from Cardigan, lies upon the left of the estuary.

  • There was a chapel on one side, the buildings of the priory on the others.

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for priory


noun (pl) -ories
a religious house governed by a prior, sometimes being subordinate to an abbey
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin priōria; see prior²
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 priory

late 13c., from Anglo-French priorie (mid-13c.), from Medieval Latin prioria "monastery governed by a prior," from Latin prior (see prior (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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