Meaning of PRIORITY in English


I. pri ‧ or ‧ i ‧ ty 1 S2 W2 AC /praɪˈɒrəti, praɪˈɒrɪti $ -ˈɔːr-/ BrE AmE noun ( plural priorities )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ priority , ↑ prioritization ; verb : ↑ prioritize ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] the thing that you think is most important and that needs attention before anything else:

The club’s priority is to win the League.

first/top/main priority

The children are our first priority.

After several burglaries in the area, security is now a high priority (=very important and needing attention soon) .

With so little money available, repairs must remain a low priority (=not important and not needing attention soon) .

The customer is high on our list of priorities.

List your tasks in order of priority (=most important first) .

2 . [uncountable] the right to be given attention first and before other people or things

priority over

Buses should have priority over other road users.

A young person who has finished the course will be given priority over one who has not.

I want to start work on the garden but the house must take priority.

3 . get your priorities right ( also get your priorities straight American English ) to know what is most important and needs attention first:

We need to get our priorities right.

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ a high priority (=very important)

Right now, the environment is a high priority.

▪ an urgent priority

He sees these negotiations as an urgent priority.

▪ a low priority (=not very important)

At that time, architecture was a low priority.

▪ the top/main/number one priority

Controlling spending is his top priority.

▪ the first priority

The first priority for most unemployed people is obtaining a job.

▪ the overriding priority (=the most important one)

The reduction of inflation must be the Government’s overriding priority.

▪ sb’s immediate priority (=which must be dealt with immediately)

Their immediate priority was to find somewhere to sleep that night.

■ phrases

▪ a list/set of priorities

Marriage isn’t very high on my list of priorities.

▪ in order of priority (=with the most important first)

They asked voters to list issues in order of priority.

■ verbs

▪ set priorities (=decide what the priorities are)

With any new project, it's important to set priorities.

▪ sort out your priorities (=decide which things are the most important as a way of dealing with a situation)

If you’ve got a lot of things to do, sort out your priorities.

▪ make something a priority

Lisa had a job, but she'd always made her family the priority.

▪ sb’s priorities change

As you get older, your priorities may change.

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ have priority

Couples may have to decide whose career has priority.

▪ get priority

The breakdown services say that women on their own get priority.

▪ take priority (=become the most important thing)

Winning the war took priority over everything else.

▪ give priority to somebody/something

The hospital always gives priority to emergency cases.

II. priority 2 BrE AmE adjective

before other people or things:

Members receive priority bookings and reduced ticket prices to all concerts.

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