WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
pri•or1 /ˈpraɪɚ/USA pronunciation adj. [before a noun]
  1. coming before another;
    earlier:a prior commitment.
  2. greater in importance:a prior claim on his time.
  1. Idiomsprior to, coming before; preceding;
    before:Prior to this job she had worked in Austria.

See -prim-.
pri•or2 /ˈpraɪɚ/USA pronunciation n. [countable]

    Religiona monk in a monastery who is ranked next below an abbot.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

prior /ˈpraɪə/ adj
  1. (prenominal) previous; preceding
  2. prior tobefore; until
Etymology: 18th Century: from Latin: previous
prior /ˈpraɪə/ n
  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
Etymology: 11th Century: from Late Latin: head, from Latin (adj): previous, from Old Latin pri before

Prior /ˈpraɪə/ n
  1. Matthew. 1664–1721, English poet and diplomat, noted for his epigrammatic occasional verse

'prior' also found in these entries:

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