Definitions for priorˈpraɪ ər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word prior

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pri•orˈpraɪ ər(adj.)

  1. preceding in time or order; earlier:

    a prior commitment.

  2. preceding in importance or privilege.

Idioms for prior:

  1. prior to,preceding; before.

    Category: Idiom

Origin of prior:

1705–15; < L: former, elder, superior (adj.), before (adv.); akin to prime , pre -


pri•orˈpraɪ ər(n.)

  1. an officer in a monastic order or religious house, sometimes next in rank below an abbot.

    Category: Religion

Origin of prior:

bef. 1100; ME, late OE < ML, LL: one superior in rank; n. use of priorprior1


Pri•orˈpraɪ ər(n.)

  1. Matthew, 1664–1721 English poet.

    Category: Biography

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prior(adj)

    the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot

  2. anterior, prior(a)(adj)

    earlier in time

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. prior(adjective)ˈpraɪ ər

    done or existing earlier

    a prior arrangement/agreement/engagement

  2. priorˈpraɪ ər


    I knew him prior to meeting my husband.


  1. prior(Noun)

    A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.

  2. prior(Noun)

    A previous criminal offense on someone's record.

  3. prior(Noun)

    In Bayesian inference, a prior probability distribution.

  4. prior(Adverb)


    The doctor had known three months prior.

  5. prior(Adjective)

    Of that which comes before, in advance.

    I had no prior knowledge you were coming.

  6. prior(Adjective)

    former, previous

    His prior residence was smaller than his current one.

  7. Origin: From prior

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prior(adj)

    preceding in the order of time; former; antecedent; anterior; previous; as, a prior discovery; prior obligation; -- used elliptically in cases like the following: he lived alone [in the time] prior to his marriage

  2. Prior(adj)

    the superior of a priory, and next below an abbot in dignity


  1. Prior

    Prior is an ecclesiastical title, derived from the Latin adjective for "earlier, first", with several notable uses.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prior' in Adjectives Frequency: #889

Translations for prior

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


already arranged for the same time

a prior engagement.

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