Meaning of PRIOR in English

PRIOR

I. pri ‧ or 1 W3 AC /ˈpraɪə $ praɪr/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: 'earlier, older, higher in rank' , from Latin pri 'before' ]

1 . existing or arranged before something else or before the present situation SYN previous :

You do not need any prior knowledge of the subject.

Changes may not be made without the prior approval of the council.

Vegetarian meals are provided by prior agreement.

Some prior experience with the software is needed.

2 . prior warning/notice a warning or announcement made before something happens:

The society must give customers prior notice before changing the cost.

The bomb exploded without any prior warning.

3 . prior to something formal before:

All the arrangements should be completed prior to your departure.

4 . prior claim a person’s right to something which is considered more important than another person’s right to the same thing:

His own children have a prior claim to the business.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS

■ nouns

▪ prior knowledge

He denied that he had prior knowledge of the robbery.

▪ prior approval/consent/permission

A sale of the factory will need the prior approval of shareholders.

▪ prior agreement

We will not disclose this information without your prior agreement.

▪ prior experience

He had no prior experience of teaching.

▪ a prior engagement formal (=an event that you have already promised to attend)

The Prime Minister was unable to attend owing to a prior engagement.

■ phrases

▪ by prior arrangement

Visitors can tour the burial tombs by prior arrangement.

II. prior 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-2: Date: 1900-2000 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ prior 1 ]

[ Sense 3: Date: 1000-1100 ; Language: Medieval Latin ; Origin: Latin (adjective); ⇨ ↑ prior 1 ]

1 . the man in charge of a ↑ priory

2 . the priest next in rank to the person in charge of an ↑ abbey

3 . informal a previous occasion when someone was found guilty of a crime:

two priors for homicide

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.