Pri"o*ry (?), n.; pl. Priories (#). [Cf. LL. prioria. See Prior, n.]
A religious house presided over by a prior or prioress; -- sometimes an offshoot of, an subordinate to, an abbey, and called also cell, and obedience. See Cell, 2.
⇒ Of such houses there were two sorts: one where the prior was chosen by the inmates, and governed as independently as an abbot in an abbey; the other where the priory was subordinate to an abbey, and the prior was placed or displaced at the will of the abbot.
Alien priory, a small religious house dependent on a large monastery in some other country.
Syn. -- See Cloister.
© Webster 1913.