• Prior's Gate: Rochester
    Prior's Gate: Rochester
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj prior earlier in time
    • n prior the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Wrought-iron horseshoes and currycombs used prior to 1650 Wrought-iron horseshoes and currycombs used prior to 1650

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Prior to 1907, when the United States started mass production of asphalt from crude oil, the roads were paved from asphalt bought from Trinidad, which had a pitch lake that was the world’s first large commercial source of natural asphalt.
    • Prior a chief magistrate, as in the republic of Florence in the middle ages.
    • Prior First, precedent, or superior in the order of cognition, reason or generality, origin, development, rank, etc.
    • Prior 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.
    • Prior (Eccl) The superior of a priory, and next below an abbot in dignity.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Federal Reserve printed up an extra $50 billion in small bills just in case people started hoarding money prior to the year 2000. Since nowhere near that much cash was needed, and there was a long-term storage problem, most of that money was recycled.
    • prior Preceding, as in the order of time, of thought, of origin, of dignity, or of importance; in law, senior in point of time: as, a prior and a junior incumbrance.
    • prior Previous: used adverbially, followed by to, like previous. See previous, a.
    • n prior A superior officer; a superior. Specifically— Eccles., an official in the monastic orders next in dignity and rank to an abbot. Before the thirteen th century he seems to have been called provost (præpositus) or prelate (prælatus), and prior seems to have meant any superior or senior. If in an abbey, and an assistant of the abbot, he is called a claustral prior; if the superior of a priory—that is, of a monastery of lower than abbatial rank—he is called a conventical or conventual prior. The superiors of the houses of regular canons were always called priors, and the commandants of the priories of the military orders of St. John of Jerusalem, of Malta, and of the Templars were called grand priors. See hegumen.
    • n prior Formerly, in Italy, a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.
    • n prior Synonyms Abbot, Prior. See def. .
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Prior to 1900, prize fights lasted up to 100 rounds.
    • adj Prior prī′or former: previous: coming before in time
    • n Prior the head of a priory: (in Italy) formerly a chief magistrate:—fem. Prī′oress
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.”
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “The logic of the world is prior to all truth and falsehood.”
  • Woody Allen
    “Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. prior, former, previous, better, superior; compar. corresponding to primus, first, and pro, for. See Former, and cf. Prime (a.), and Pre- Pro-


In literature:

This success suggested to the Prior that Savonarola be sent out to preach in the churches round about, and it was so done.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 7" by Elbert Hubbard
Then the Prior said, we'll make him a father.
"Peter the Priest" by Mór Jókai
Then, when Sext was ended, all the fathers meditated, and Durtal caught a look of pity from the prior, who turned a little towards his bench.
"En Route" by J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
Prior has written with great variety, and his variety has made him popular.
"The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes" by Samuel Johnson
Prior to that time the few Negroes coming into Piedmont were too migratory to necessitate any outlay for their education.
"The Journal of Negro History, Volume 7, 1922" by Various
Prior to the year 1842 the Northwestern Fur Company occupied the territory which is now Minnesota.
"The History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier" by Charles E. Flandrau
Prior John of Cambridge, who, in the vacancy of the abbot, was now in charge of the house, was a man skilled in all the arts of his day.
"Stray Studies from England and Italy" by John Richard Greene
The Prior assigned to him the special task of waiting upon his old father.
"Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln" by Charles L. Marson
On the morrow morning, our Prior and his Twelve will be ready to get under way.
"Past and Present" by Thomas Carlyle
Father Coelestino, prior of St. Mark's.
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor" by Various

In poetry:

Then forth he rode by Peter’s gate,
And smiled and said aloud:
“No more a day doth the Prior wait,
White stands the tower and proud.”
"The Hall And The Wood" by William Morris
Who should go free where equal guilt is shared?
Frederick is just--they perish all at once,
Generous moreover--for in their mode of death
He grants them choice.
"The Dance To Death. Act II" by Emma Lazarus
``Then will you 'mid deserted Abbey walls
Hear both the matin and the vesper bell,
The girdled Brothers chanting in their stalls,
And see the Prior praying in his cell.
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
Praise be to God that thou hast come to-day.
To-morrow were too late. Hast thou not heard
Frederick sends Schnetzen unto Nordhausen,
With fire and torture for the Jews?
"The Dance To Death. Act III" by Emma Lazarus
I knew not that another claimed
By prior right,
Those charms that had my breast inflamed
With fancies bright.
Ah! then I recognized my loneliness:--
My dreams dispelled;--still I admired no less.
"The Open Gates" by John Hartley
PRIOR. And those of heaven, O Lord, keep open wide
To penitent tears and sighs.
May this poor sinner from these dungeons rise,
This dark and dismal place,
Where never shines the radiance of Thy face.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy

In news:

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux pours out water from the Mellon Arena to the ice of the Consol Energy Center prior to Thursday's game.
Clooney was placed under arrest and handcuffed prior to being led away to awaiting van.
Visitation will be from 12-1 pm prior to services.
A Bozrah man was arrested Monday after police said he was driving 101 mph on Interstate 395 north just prior to Exit 84 in Lisbon.
MTMTMK includes more Western and African club beats and electronically distorted vocals than prior efforts.
Full Bar, Banquets Facilities, Wedding Receptions in Prior Lake MN.
John McCain talks on his cell phone prior to a campaign appearance for Sen Lincoln Chafee on Oct 4, 2006.
David and Cheryl Christianson reopened the Coffee Cup Café, located at 167 Main St, Rosholt, in June, after it had been closed for a year prior to the June opening.
I had been invited to the 2006 Austin-Healey Conclave , but due to a prior commitment, I couldn't make it.
Four Iowa governors chat outside First Congregational Church, 361 17th Street (17th St.) SE, Wednesday prior to attending memorial services for former Gazette associate editor Frank Nye.
The newspaper reported that "upwards of 450 people" celebrate the sacrament in one of the parish's 15 weekly time slots for confession (including prior to almost every Mass).
It is all you previously prior to need mulberry sale is much higher circumstances in fashion globe.
Prior Convocation Center named in honor of beloved late chancellor.
David Prior, the former Chancellor of UVa-Wise.
Elephants were available for viewing during an open house prior to the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the DCU Center today.

In science:

In the latter problem we want to discriminate without error a quantum state |ψi, occurring with the prior probability η1 , from a set of states {|ψj i}, with prior probabilities η ′ j .
Distinguishing mixed quantum states: Minimum-error discrimination versus optimum unambiguous discrimination
Without external priors w′ still cannot be determined; with the priors we find σ (w′ ) = 1.05 (0.90 parabolic) (from now on we always include the priors).
Is Dark Energy Dynamical? Prospects for an Answer
Therefore we discuss below the results of model selection as a function of the prior width ∆f , taking a flat prior in the range −∆f 6 fx 6 ∆f .
The isocurvature fraction after WMAP 3-year data
Furthermore, using the SDDR has the advantage that the impact of a change of prior can usually be evaluated by simply post–processing a chain including the new prior.
The isocurvature fraction after WMAP 3-year data
We we have adopted a flat prior of fx of width much larger than the posterior, so that the range of the prior does not influence the result.
The isocurvature fraction after WMAP 3-year data