from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Preceding in time or order: "[They] insist that foreign vessels seeking access obtain prior approval” ( Seymour M. Hersh).
- adj. Preceding in importance or value: a prior consideration.
- n. A monastic officer in charge of a priory or ranking next below the abbot of an abbey.
- n. One of the ruling magistrates of the medieval Italian republic of Florence.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Of that which comes before, in advance.
- adj. former, previous
- adv. Previously.
- n. A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Preceding in the order of time; former; antecedent; anterior; previous
- adj. First, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition, reason or generality, origin, development, rank, etc.
- n. The superior of a priory, and next below an abbot in dignity.
- n. a chief magistrate, as in the republic of Florence in the middle ages.
- n. a prior conviction; -- said of an accused criminal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Preceding, as in the order of time, of thought, of origin, of dignity, or of importance; in law, senior in point of time: as, a prior and a junior incumbrance.
- Previous: used adverbially, followed by to, like previous. See previous, a.
- n. A superior officer; a superior.
- n. Formerly, in Italy, a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.
- n. Synonyms Abbot, Prior. See def. .
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. earlier in time
- n. the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot
Latin; see prior2.
Middle English priour, from Old English and Old French prior, both from Medieval Latin, from Latin, superior; see per1 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prior (Wiktionary)