pri-or / prī-ər
1. occurring earlier in time or order
Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed.
Earl Warren, 1891 – 1974
2. preceding; existing or coming before in importance or privilege
He who is first in time has the prior right.
1. an earlier arrest or conviction
Even people who steal socks and ‘Snow White’ videos should probably do time if they have priors, especially serious priors.
Matt Taibbi, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws”, Rolling Stone, March 27, 2013
2. in a monastery or abbey, the official ranking just below the abbot
When the prior plays cards, what will the monks do?