There are 2 definitions of prior in English:

prior1

Syllabification: pri·or
Pronunciation: /ˈprīər
 
/

adjective

[attributive]
Existing or coming before in time, order, or importance: he has a prior engagement this evening
More example sentences
  • It does appear that, due to the patient leaving the ward without prior notice to the staff nurse, this routine was not carried out.
  • When the student returns, she must be reinstated to her prior status.
  • Almost half the defendants convicted had no prior arrest records.
Synonyms

noun

North American informal Back to top  
A previous criminal conviction: he had no juvenile record, no priors
More example sentences
  • We talked about the prior - the arrest warrants that are outstanding for this individual, Edmunds.
  • This man has no priors, who has been a contributing worker throughout his life, finds himself in the dock charged with a very serious offence.
  • It's a diversion program, a deferred sentencing program, for ‘predicate felons,’ people with multiple serious priors and a drug problem who would otherwise be serving long sentences.

Origin

early 18th century: from Latin, literally 'former, elder', related to prae 'before'.

Phrases

prior to

Before a particular time or event: she visited me on the day prior to her death
More example sentences
  • In the weeks and months prior to his death, he took some steps to organise his financial affairs.
  • Why are cameras not placed at frequent intervals on this road or, at the very least prior to a sharp bend?
  • He said that the back of the silver Rover had been clipped by the blue Mercedes prior to the collision.
Synonyms
before, until, till, up to, previous to, earlier than, preceding, leading up to
formal anterior to

Definition of prior in:

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Word of the day apposite
Pronunciation: ˈapəzit
adjective
apt in the circumstances or relation to something

There are 2 definitions of prior in English:

prior2

Syllabification: pri·or
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈprīər/

noun

1A man who is head of a house or group of houses of certain religious orders, in particular.
1.1The man next in rank below an abbot.
More example sentences
  • Friaries were occupied by friars, abbeys were headed by abbots, priories by priors.
  • Until the Reformation, the spiritual peerage also included abbots and priors, and spiritual peers formed a majority of the House of Lords.
  • The first abbot of Dunfermline was Geoffrey, prior of Canterbury, while David I's Cistercian foundation at Melrose was established by monks from Rievaulx.
1.2The head of a house of friars.
More example sentences
  • Although the documents are not clear, most historians agree that he was appointed prior of the Dominican convent in Würzburg.
  • Taize is a celibate, monastic community of men living under a common rule with Brother Roger as prior.
  • Brother John, who became the prior at Mont-Cornillon in 1242, must have been the first male to whom Juliana spoke regarding her vision for the new feast.

Origin

late Old English, from a medieval Latin noun use of Latin prior 'elder, former' (see prior1).

Derivatives

priorate

Pronunciation: /ˈprīərət/
noun
More example sentences
  • Their organization was strictly hierarchical, into priorates, then bailiwicks and lastly commanderies.
  • He painted it in the year of our Lord 1413, in the month of February, during the time of Matthew's priorate of this monastery.

priorship

noun
More example sentences
  • Under his priorship great care was given to the liturgical chant, to studies in general and the strengthening of the monastic spirit.
  • Fr John Keating, O.Carm., during his priorship (1976-82), removed the choir stalls from the Oratory and installed the present seating in order to accommodate the growing numbers coming to the Eucharist on Sundays.

Definition of prior in: