priority

priority, precedence can both mean the act, the fact, or, especially, the right of preceding another. When the reference is to the right, both terms usually imply an established or accepted code that determines which shall precede the other.
Priority is the usual term in law and the sciences and chiefly concerns an order of time. When there is merely a question concerning the time relations of events, the term implies antecedence in occurrence
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the courts established the priority of the wife's death in an accident

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the right to inherit a title is dependent mainly on priority of birth

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they disputed priority of invention of the regenerative electron-tube circuit—C. B. Fisher

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When, however, the question concerns a number of things (as debts or cases) which cannot be taken care of or dealt with all at once and must be arranged in order of time, priority suggests a rule of arrangement that determines the order in which one goes before another
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in payment of debts he must observe the rules of priorityBlackstone

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liens on a property take priority in bankruptcy settlements

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the "law of priority" in biological classification is the principle that the first published name of a genus or species has preference over any one subsequently pub- lished

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where roads cross one another without a sign on either, there is no absolute priority, but it is usual to give way to the vehicle on one's right— Joseph

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Precedence, though frequent in general use, is, in the sense under consideration, primarily a term of formal etiquette; it then implies an established order (as in receiving, greeting, or seating) which gives preference to those who are superior in rank, dignity, or position
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among ambassadors of equal rank, precedence is usually determined by order of seniority or length of service

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the order of precedence was very rigidly observed, for the visiting maids and valets enjoyed the same hierarchy as their mistresses and masters— Sackville-West

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In more general use the term often suggests a prior place, chance, or seat accorded to one, often because of age, sex, social position, or as a mere courtesy
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no one lost anything by granting precedence to a man so flawlessly urbane— Repplier

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to give organizations precedence over persons is to subordinate ends to means— Huxley

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Analogous words: ordering or order, arrangement (see corresponding verbs at ORDER): ascendancy, *supremacy: preeminence, transcendence (see corresponding adjectives at SUPREME)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Priority — may refer to: Priority date, a concept of establishing waiting times in the immigration process by United States Department of State Priority level, the priority of emergency communications Priority Records, a record label started in 1985 and… …   Wikipedia

  • priority — The Bankruptcy Code establishes the order in which claims are paid from the bankruptcy estate. All claims in a higher priority must be paid in full before claims with a lower priority receive anything. All claims with the same priority share pro… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • Priority — Pri*or i*ty, n. [Cf. F. priorit[ e]. See {Prior}, a.] 1. The quality or state of being prior or antecedent in time, or of preceding something else; as, priority of application. [1913 Webster] 2. Precedence; superior rank. Shak. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Priority — Priority, est le label d une compagnie de disque indépendante Artistes produits : Homesick James Portail de la musique Ce document provient de « Priority ». Catégorie : Label de musique indépendant …   Wikipédia en Français

  • priority — late 14c., from O.Fr. priorite (14c.), from M.L. prioritatem (nom. prioritas) fact or condition of being prior, from L. prior (see PRIOR (Cf. prior) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • priority — [n] first concern antecedence, arrangement, crash project*, greatest importance, lead, order, precedence, preeminence, preference, prerogative, previousness, rank, right of way*, seniority, superiority, supremacy, transcendence; concept727 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • priority — ► NOUN (pl. priorities) 1) the condition of being regarded as more important. 2) a thing regarded as more important than others. 3) the right to proceed before other traffic …   English terms dictionary

  • priority — [prī ôr′ə tē, prīär′ə tē] n. pl. priorities [ME priorite < ML prioritas] 1. the fact or condition of being prior; precedence in time, order, importance, etc. 2. a) a right to precedence over others in obtaining, buying, or doing something b)… …   English World dictionary

  • priority — Used for listed equity securities. System used in an auction market, in which the first bid or offer price is executed before other bid and offer prices, even if subsequent orders are larger. NYSE rules stipulate that the bid made first should be …   Financial and business terms

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