Definition of “priority” - English Dictionary

“priority” in 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)

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A central feature of the reform will therefore be a more rigorous process for tying the process of priority-setting into resource allocation under a system of activity-based management.
Protection of privacy has also been a priority, as has child protection: access providers must provide customers with free parental control software.
Securing this is a major priority.
Higher priority must be given to verifiability.
The better economy should increase a still fragile public confidence in the democratic institutions and de-politicisation of the civil service must be a high priority.
We also know that they should give priority to actions of this kind, and to national afforestation projects, under their national regional development programmes.
Far too often, we see that the short-term interests of powerful industrial groups are given priority, whilst the majority of our electorate increasingly sets different requirements for political decision-making.
With this in mind, it is necessary to organise the practical dimension of the changeover well as a matter of priority.
As far as we are concerned, combating fraud is more than a priority, it is a commitment we have to the people who elected us.
Thirdly, the members of the convention must give priority to the least developed countries and the lowest income countries when allocating their food aid.