Simple Definition of a priori
: relating to what can be known through an understanding of how certain things work rather than by observation
Full Definition of a priori
apriorityplay \-ˈȯr-ə-tē\ noun
Examples of a priori in a sentence
There's no a priori reason to think your expenses will remain the same in a new city.
<an a priori argument for the defendant's innocence>
Did You Know?
A priori, Latin for "from the former", is traditionally contrasted with a posteriori. The term usually describes lines of reasoning or arguments that proceed from the general to the particular, or from causes to effects. Whereas a posteriori knowledge is knowledge based solely on experience or personal observation, a priori knowledge is knowledge that comes from the power of reasoning based on self-evident truths. So, for example, "Every mother has had a child" is an a priori statement, since it shows simple logical reasoning and isn't a statement of fact about a specific case (such as "This woman is the mother of five children") that the speaker knew about from experience.
Origin and Etymology of a priori
Latin, literally, from the former
First Known Use: 1652
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