ETYM Latin prior former, previous, better, superior; compar. corresponding to primus first, and pro for. Related to Former, Prime, and Pre-, Pro-.
1. Earlier in time or order; previous.
2. Taking precedence (as in importance).
3. Former; antecedent; anterior; previous.
(1664-1721) British poet and diplomat. He was associated under the Whigs with the negotiation of the treaty of Ryswick 1697 ending the war with France and under the Tories with that of Utrecht 1714 (“Matt’s Peace”) ending the War of the Spanish Succession, but on the Whigs’ return to power he was imprisoned by the government leader Walpole 1715–17. His gift as a poet was for light occasional verses.
(1927-) British Conservative politician. He held ministerial posts from 1970. As employment secretary he curbed labor-union activity with the Employment Act 1980, and was Northern Ireland secretary 1981–84. After his resignation 1984 he became chair of the General Electric Company.
ETYM Old Eng. priour, Old Fren. priour, prior, priur, French prieur, from Latin prior former, superior. Related to Prior.
1. The superior ranking next to the abbot of a monastery.
2. The superior of a house or group of houses of any of various religious communities.
3. The head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot.