Hypertext Webster Gateway: "Prior"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Prior \Pri"or\, a.
First, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition,
reason or generality, origin, development, rank, etc.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Prior \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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Prior \Pri"or\, n. [OE. priour, OF. priour, prior, priur, F.
prieur, from L. prior former, superior. See {Prior}, a.]
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.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj : earlier in time [syn: {anterior}, {prior(a)}]
n : the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next
below the abbot

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