What does Prior mean?

Definitions for Prior
ˈpraɪ ərpri·or

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Prior.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prioradjective

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

  2. anterior, prior(a)adjective

    earlier in time


  1. priornoun

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

  2. priornoun

    A previous criminal offense on someone's record.

  3. priornoun

    In Bayesian inference, a prior probability distribution.

  4. prioradverb


    The doctor had known three months prior.

  5. prioradjective

    Of that which comes before, in advance.

    I had no prior knowledge you were coming.

  6. prioradjective

    former, previous

    His prior residence was smaller than his current one.

  7. Etymology: From prior

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PRIORadjective

    Former; being before something else; antecedent; anterior.

    Etymology: prior, Lat.

    Whenever tempted to do or approve any thing contrary to the duties we are enjoined, let us reflect that we have a prior and superior obligation to the commands of Christ. John Rogers.

  2. Priornoun

    Etymology: prieur, Fr.

    Neither she, nor any other, besides the prior of the convent, knew any thing of his name. Joseph Addison, Spectator.


  1. Prior

    Prior (or prioress) is an ecclesiastical title for a superior in some religious orders. The word is derived from the Latin for "earlier" or "first". Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior. In abbeys, a prior would be lower in rank than the abbey's abbot or abbess.


  1. Prior

    Prior refers to something that comes before or takes precedence over something else. It can be used as a noun to refer to a previous occurrence or condition, or as an adjective to describe something that precedes or is done in advance of another event or action. It can also be used as a verb to indicate that something is given priority or preference over other things.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prioradjective

    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. Prioradjective

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

  3. Etymology: [OE. priour, OF. priour, prior, priur, F. prieur, from L. prior former, superior. See Prior, a.]


  1. Prior

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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prior

    prī′or, adj. former: previous: coming before in time.—n. the head of a priory: (in Italy) formerly a chief magistrate:—fem. Prī′oress.—ns. Prī′orāte, Prī′orship, the government or office of a prior: the time during which a prior is in office; Prior′ity, state of being prior or first in time, place, or rank: preference; Prī′ory, a convent of either sex, under a prior or prioress, and next in rank below an abbey. [L. prior, former, comp. from pro-, in front.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PRIOR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prior is ranked #5154 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Prior surname appeared 6,787 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Prior.

    87.6% or 5,950 total occurrences were White.
    5.8% or 395 total occurrences were Black.
    3% or 204 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 134 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 54 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.7% or 50 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

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

How to pronounce Prior?

How to say Prior in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Prior in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Prior in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of Prior in a Sentence

  1. Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman:

    The call was received approximately 12 hours prior to the discovery of the victims.

  2. Detectives Robert Boyce:

    He’s not a subject at all, we spoke to him last night. He voluntarily came into the precinct, and we sat down, and we talked to him. He self-identified as that person that Phil would see jogging prior to that. It was just an injury.

  3. Roger Goodell:

    Our security team was contacted by the police in Las Vegas just prior to the game saying they would like to meet with Alvin Kamara after the game and our team made sure that Las Vegas happened so our security team did what they were asked to do and accommodated them.

  4. The National Football League:

    We are continuing that review today, which includes discussions with the Rams and their medical staff, the ATC spotter, the game officials, our medical advisors and the The NFL, in the meantime, prior to this week's games, we will reinforce with all involved the need to ensure that these injuries are properly identified and addressed in a manner consistent with our protocols.

  5. Deborah Festa:

    The proposed change is only a moral victory, it doesn't give the broad relief the market was hoping for, which would have allowed any CLO that closed prior to the end of 2016 to be grandfathered. The relief itself is narrow.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Prior

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Prior »


Find a translation for the Prior definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Prior." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Prior>.

Discuss these Prior definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for Prior? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    of persons; taken advantage of
    A blistering
    B victimised
    C alternate
    D whirring

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Prior: