Meaning of “prior” in the English Dictionary

"prior" in English

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prioradjective [ before noun ]

uk /praɪər/ us /praɪr/

prior adjective [ before noun ] (EARLIER)

C1 formal existing or happening before something else, or before a particular time:

The course required no prior knowledge of Spanish.
They had to refuse the dinner invitation because of a prior engagement (= something already planned for that time).
prior to sth

C1 before a particular time or event:

the weeks prior to her death

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priornoun [ C ]

uk /praɪər/ us /praɪr/

(Definition of “prior” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"prior" in American English

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prioradjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈprɑɪ·ər/

coming before in time, order, or importance:

She denied prior knowledge of the meeting.
Passengers may board the plane twenty minutes prior to (= before) departure.

(Definition of “prior” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"prior" in Business English

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prioradjective [ before noun ]

uk /praɪər/ us

existing or happening before something else:

Operating earnings were $71 million, compared with a loss of $111 million in the prior year.
Board members denied any prior knowledge of an executive compensation agreement.
Do not publish these figures without prior authorization from the Board.
Applicants should have prior experience of the pharmaceutical sector.
give/receive prior notice (of sth) According to the law, the finance ministry should have been given prior notice, which it did not get.
prior to (doing) sth

before something else:

It is vital that boards, management, and shareholders fully appreciate the risks and rewards prior to any merger.
She was vice president of business operations for three years prior to becoming commissioner.

(Definition of “prior” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)