Definition of prior adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    prior

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈpraɪə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪər//
     
    [only before noun](formal)
     
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  1. 1  happening or existing before something else or before a particular time Although not essential, some prior knowledge of statistics is desirable. This information must not be disclosed without prior written consent. Visits are by prior arrangement. Please give us prior notice if you need an evening meal. She will be unable to attend because of a prior engagement.
  2. 2  already existing and therefore more important They have a prior claim to the property.
  3. 3  prior to before something during the week prior to the meeting
  4. Word Originadjective early 18th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘former, elder’, related to prae ‘before’.Extra examples She will be unable to attend because of a prior engagement. This information must not be disclosed without prior written consent. Visits are by prior arrangement.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prior

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