m. prior

World English Dictionary
prior1 (ˈpraɪə)
1.  (prenominal) previous; preceding
2.  prior to before; until
3.  statistics a prior probability
[C18: from Latin: previous]

prior2 (ˈpraɪə)
1.  the superior of a house and community in certain religious orders
2.  the deputy head of a monastery or abbey, ranking immediately below the abbot
3.  (formerly) a chief magistrate in medieval Florence and other Italian republics
[C11: from Late Latin: head, from Latin (adj): previous, from Old Latin pri before]

Prior (ˈpraɪə)
Matthew. 1664--1721, English poet and diplomat, noted for his epigrammatic occasional verse

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1714, from L. prior "former, superior," comparative of Old L. pri "before" (see prime), related to L. præ "before" (see pre-).

"superior officer of a religious house or order," 1093, from L. prior "former, superior" (see prior (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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