Meaning of PRIOR in English

PRIOR

/ ˈpraɪə(r); NAmE / adjective , noun

■ adjective [ only before noun ]

1.

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 .

2.

already existing and therefore more important :

They have a prior claim to the property.

3.

ˈprior to ( formal ) before sth :

during the week prior to the meeting

■ noun ( feminine pri·or·ess / ˈpraɪərəs; NAmE ; BrE also ˌpraɪəˈres/)

1.

a person who is in charge of a group of monks or nuns living in a priory

2.

(in an abbey ) a person next in rank below an abbot or abbess

••

WORD ORIGIN

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.