Meaning of “priority” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"priority" in British English

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prioritynoun [ C or U ]

uk /praɪˈɒr.ə.ti/ us /praɪˈɔːr.ə.t̬i/

B2 something that is very important and must be dealt with before other things:

The management did not seem to consider office safety to be a priority.
My first/top priority is to find somewhere to live.
You have to learn to get your priorities right/straight (= decide which are the most important jobs or problems and deal with them first).
Repairing the plumbing is a priority task (= more important than other jobs).
Banks normally give priority to large businesses when deciding on loans (= they deal with them first because they consider them most important).
Official business requirements obviously take/have priority over personal requests (= official business matters will be dealt with first).

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

"priority" in American English

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prioritynoun [ C/U ]

us /prɑɪˈɔr·ɪ·t̬i, -ˈɑr-/

something that is considered more important than other matters:

[ C ] The president vowed to make education one of his top priorities.
takes priority over

If something takes priority over something else, it is more important:

[ U ] Getting fresh water and food to the flood victims takes priority over dealing with their insurance claims.

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

"priority" in Business English

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uk /praɪˈɒrəti/ us plural priorities

[ C ] something that you do or deal with first because it is more important or urgent than other things:

The company focuses on business priorities that make a difference: intense commitment to customer service and maintaining low costs.
strategic/corporate priorities
a top/number one/first priority For the Internal Revenue Service, protection of taxpayers' data is a top priority.
a high/clear priority Regulators, both globally and locally, need to define clearer priorities.
sb's priority is to do sth At the moment, our priority is to recruit high-calibre employees to supplement the existing staff.
make sth a priority Union representatives are anxious to make healthcare benefits a priority for their workers over the next few months.
identify/set/establish priorities The bank's board of directors was criticized for failing to set priorities.
a list/set of priorities Tackling the issue of World debt relief will be high on the list of priorities at next week's summit.

[ U ] the state or fact of being the most important job or aim, compared to other jobs or aims:

high/low/top priority Euro MPs are now demanding higher priority for climate change policy.
take/have/get priority (over sth) Under certain circumstances, there may be special requirements that take priority over all others.
give sth priority/give priority to sth Both countries have given priority to corporate investment.
a priority area/sector Products across twelve priority sectors are now being traded freely between member states.

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