a priori

play
adjective a pri·o·ri \ˌä-prē-ˈȯr-ē, ˌa-; ˌā-(ˌ)prī-ˈȯr-ˌī, -ˌprē-ˈȯr-ē\

Definition of a priori

  1. 1 a :  deductive b :  relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions — compare a posteriori c :  presupposed by experience

  2. 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>

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


A PRIORI Defined for English Language Learners

a priori

play
adjective a pri·o·ri \ˌä-prē-ˈȯr-ē, ˌa-; ˌā-(ˌ)prī-ˈȯr-ˌī, -ˌprē-ˈȯr-ē\

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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