Pri"or (?), a. [L. prior former, previous, better, superior; compar. corresponding to primus first, and pro for. See Former, and cf. Prime, a., and Pre-, Pro-.]

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.


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Pri"or, n. [OE. priour, OF. priour, prior, priur, F. prieur, from L. prior former, superior. See Prior, a.] (Eccl.)

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

Conventical, or Conventual, prior, a prior who is at the head of his own house. See the Note under Priory. --
Claustral prior, an official next in rank to the abbot in a monastery; prior of the cloisters.


© Webster 1913

Pri"or (?), a.

First, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition, reason or generality, origin, development, rank, etc.


© Webster 1913