prior

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See also: Prior and prior to

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin prior, comparative of Old Latin *pri(before), from Proto-Indo-European *per-(beyond), *pro(before). Parallel to English former, as comparative form from same Proto-Indo-European root, whence also fore (thence before).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

prior ‎(not comparable)

  1. advance; coming before
    I had no prior knowledge you were coming.
  2. former, previous
    His prior residence was smaller than his current one.

Usage notes[edit]

The etymological antonym is ulterior (from Latin) (compare primate/ultimate for “first/last”). This is now no longer used, however, and there is no corresponding antonym. Typically either subsequent or posterior are used, but these form different pairs – precedent/subsequent and anterior/posterior – and are more formal than prior. When an opposing pair is needed, these can be used, or other pairs such as former/latter or previous/next.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

prior ‎(comparative more prior, superlative most prior)

  1. (colloquial) Previously.
    The doctor had known three months prior.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

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Wikipedia

prior ‎(plural priors)

  1. A high-ranking member of a monastery, usually lower in rank than an abbot.
  2. (US slang) A previous arrest or criminal conviction on someone's record. [from 19th c.]
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p. 53:
      ‘And a little later we get the routine report on his prints from Washington, and he's got a prior back in Indiana, attempted hold-up six years ago.’
  3. (statistics) In Bayesian inference, a prior probability distribution. [from 20th c.]

Synonyms[edit]

  • (second-in-command to an abbot): provost

Translations[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Noun[edit]

prior m ‎(plural priors)

  1. prior

Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Italic *priōs, from earlier *prijōs, from *pri + *-jōs, thus the comparative degree of Old Latin *pri(before), from Proto-Italic *pri from Proto-Indo-European *per-(beyond), *pro(before).

Adjective[edit]

prior comparative, m./f. sing., third declension (superlative: prīmus)

  1. former, prior, previous (preceding in time)
    priore anno‎ ― the year before, the previous year; during the year before
    priore aestate‎ ― the previous summer
    priore nocte‎ ― the previous night
    • 27 BCE – 25 BCE, Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita libri 26.1
      Q. Fuluio Ap. Claudio, prioris anni consulibus, prorogatum imperium est atque exercitus quos habebant decreti, adiectumque ne a Capua quam obsidebant abscederent priusquam expugnassent.
      The military authority of Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, consuls of the previous year, was extended and the armies which they had were decided upon, and it was added as a proviso that they should not withdraw from Capua, which they were besieging, until they conquered it.
  2. the first, the original
  3. in front
  4. (figuratively) better, superior
  5. (substantive, Medieval Latin) abbot, prior

Usage notes[edit]

  • This adjective has no positive form; rather, it serves as the comparative (prior) and superlative (prīmus) of the preposition prae. (Compare the preposition post, with comparative posterior and superlative postremus).

Inflection[edit]

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative prior prius priōrēs priōra
genitive priōris priōrum
dative priōrī priōribus
accusative priōrem prius priōrēs priōra
ablative priōre priōribus
vocative prior prius priōrēs priōra

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]