a priori

adjective a pri·o·ri \ ˌä-prē-ˈȯr-ē , ˌa- ; ˌā-(ˌ)prī-ˈȯr-ˌī , -ˌprē-ˈȯr-ē \
Updated on: 24 Feb 2018

Definition of a priori

1 a : deductive
b : relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions — compare a posteriori
c : presupposed by experience
2 a : being without examination or analysis : presumptive
b : formed or conceived beforehand

a priori

adverb

apriority

play \-ˈȯr-ə-tē\ noun

Examples of a priori in a Sentence

  1. There's no a priori reason to think your expenses will remain the same in a new city.

  2. an a priori argument for the defendant's innocence

Recent Examples of a priori from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'a priori.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


A PRIORI Defined for English Language Learners

a priori

adjective

Definition of a priori for English Language Learners

  • : relating to what can be known through an understanding of how certain things work rather than by observation



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