Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A superior officer; a superior.
  • noun Formerly, in Italy, a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.
  • noun Synonyms Abbot, Prior. See def. .

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun informal a prior conviction; -- said of an accused criminal.
  • noun (Eccl.) The superior of a priory, and next below an abbot in dignity.
  • noun a chief magistrate, as in the republic of Florence in the middle ages.
  • noun a prior who is at the head of his own house. See the Note under Priory.
  • noun an official next in rank to the abbot in a monastery; prior of the cloisters.
  • adjective Preceding in the order of time; former; antecedent; anterior; previous
  • adjective First, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition, reason or generality, origin, development, rank, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of that which comes before, in advance.
  • adjective former, previous
  • adverb colloquial Previously.
  • noun A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective earlier in time
  • noun the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin prior

Examples

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