Meaning of PRIOR in English

PRIOR

adj the superior of a priory, and next below an abbot in dignity.

2. prior ·add. ·adj first, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition, reason or generality, origin, development, rank, ·etc.

3. prior ·adj preceding in the order of time; former; antecedent; anterior; previous; as, a prior discovery; prior obligation;

— used elliptically in cases like the following: he lived alone [in the time] prior to his marriage.

Webster English vocab.      Английский словарь Webster.