Meaning of PRIOR in English
/ ˈpraɪə(r); NAmE / adjective , noun
■ adjective [ only before noun ]
happening or existing before sth else or before a particular time :
Although not essential, some prior knowledge of statistics is desirable.
This information must not be disclosed without prior written consent .
Visits are by prior arrangement .
Please give us prior notice if you need an evening meal.
She will be unable to attend because of a prior engagement .
already existing and therefore more important :
They have a prior claim to the property.
ˈprior to ( formal ) before sth :
during the week prior to the meeting
■ noun ( feminine pri·or·ess / ˈpraɪərəs; NAmE ; BrE also ˌpraɪəˈres/)
a person who is in charge of a group of monks or nuns living in a priory
(in an abbey ) a person next in rank below an abbot or abbess
adjective early 18th cent.: from Latin , literally former, elder , related to prae before.
noun late Old English , from a medieval Latin noun use of Latin prior elder, former, related to prae before.
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005