Meaning of PRIOR in English

PRIOR

adj., adv., & n.

--adj.

1. earlier.

2 (often foll. by to) coming before in time, order, or importance.

--adv. (foll. by to) before (decided prior to their arrival).

--n.

1. the superior officer of a religious house or order.

2 (in an abbey) the officer next under the abbot.

Derivatives:

priorate n. prioress n. priorship n.

Etymology: L, former, elder, compar. of OL pri L prae before

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.