From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpriorpri‧or1 /ˈpraɪə $ praɪr/ ●●○W3AWL adjective1BUSY/NOT AVAILABLEexisting or arranged before something else or before the present situationSYN previousYou do not need any prior knowledge of the subject.Changes may not be made without the prior approval of the council.Vegetarian meals are provided by prior agreement.Some prior experience with the software is needed.2 →prior warning/notice3 →prior to something4 →prior claimCOLLOCATIONSnounsprior knowledgeHe denied that he had prior knowledge of the robbery.prior approval/consent/permissionA sale of the factory will need the prior approval of shareholders.prior agreementWe will not disclose this information without your prior agreement.prior experienceHe had no prior experience of teaching.a prior engagement formal (=an event that you have already promised to attend)The prime minister was unable to attend owing to a prior engagement.phrasesby prior arrangementVisitors can tour the burial tombs by prior arrangement.
priorprior2 noun [countable]1RRCthe man in charge of a priory2RRCthe priest next in rank to the person in charge of an abbey3informal a previousoccasion when someone was found guilty of a crimetwo priors for homicide
Examples from the Corpus
prior• Ideally, eligibility for membership and the verification thereof should have been establishedprior to the process of resettlement commencing.• After education at Oxford, he became the greatest of all the priors at Bridlington.From King Business Dictionarypriorpri‧or /ˈpraɪəpraɪr/ adjective [only before a noun]coming before something is finally decided, agreed etcMost firms requireprior approval of analysts’ personal trades before selling stock to them.Sales are expected to be $62 million, up slightly from $60 million in the prior year.prior toThose calculations are based on AT&T’s average stock price prior to a shareholder meeting.Originprior1(1700-1800)Latin“earlier, older, higher in rank”, from Latinpri“before”prior21. (1900-2000) → PRIOR12. (1000-1100)Medieval LatinLatin (adjective); → PRIOR1