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prius

[prahy-uh s] /ˈpraɪ əs/
adjective
1.
(in prescriptions) before; former.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; < Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for priusest

prius

n.

"that which takes precedence," noun use of Latin neuter of prior "former, earlier" (see prior (adj.)). The hybrid car (with a capital P- ) debuted in 1997 in Japan, 2001 in U.S. and Europe. Name supposedly chosen because the car is a predecessor of new types. Proper plural is said to be Priora, but that is for the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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