- (prenominal) previous; preceding
- prior to ⇒ before; until
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- coming before another;
earlier:a prior commitment.
- greater in importance:a prior claim on his time.
- Idiomsprior to, coming before;
before:Prior to this job she had worked in Austria.
pri•or2 /ˈpraɪɚ/USA pronunciation n. [countable]
- Religiona monk in a monastery who is ranked next below an abbot.
- preceding in time or in order;
earlier or former;
previous:A prior agreement prevents me from accepting this.
- preceding in importance or privilege.
- Idiomsprior to, preceding;
before:Prior to that time, buffalo had roamed the Great Plains in tremendous numbers.
- Informal Termsa prior conviction.
- Latin: former, elder, superior (adjective, adjectival), before (adverb, adverbial); akin to prime, pre-
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged anterior, antecedent.
pri•or2 (prī′ər),USA pronunciation n.
- Religionan officer in a monastic order or religious house, sometimes next in rank below an abbot.
- World Historya chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.
- Medieval Latin, Late Latin: one superior in rank; noun, nominal use of prior prior1
- Middle English, late Old English bef. 1100
Pri•or (prī′ər),USA pronunciation n.
- the superior of a house and community in certain religious orders
- the deputy head of a monastery or abbey, ranking immediately below the abbot
- Matthew. 1664–1721, English poet and diplomat, noted for his epigrammatic occasional verse