prior to


: in advance of : before
Usage of Prior to

Sometimes termed pompous or affected, prior to is a synonym of before that most often appears in rather formal contexts, such as the annual reports of corporations. It may occasionally emphasize the notion of anticipation.

page makeup decisions are verified and approved prior to typesetting Publishers Weekly

Examples of prior to in a Sentence

make sure all revisions are approved by the author prior to publication
Recent Examples on the Web The comedian was performing at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood for the comedy club’s annual Thanksgiving Feast and Show prior to being arrested at 5:45 a.m. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Nov. 2023 Experts As of Monday, at least five of the 39 babies have died, including three when the power to the incubators was cut off and two prior to evacuation, according to hospital staff and the WHO. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2023 Only five have regained their freedom prior to this agreement, while two others were found dead in Gaza. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 21 Nov. 2023 Trump, who is chairman of Trump Media and owns a stake in the business, has agreed to post on Truth Social prior to any other competing social media service, the filing noted. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 14 Nov. 2023 And nothing reflected this more than just minutes prior to Johnson’s comments when the tension was about to rupture in the Capitol basement. Reese Gorman, Washington Examiner, 14 Nov. 2023 Jim Jaeger, a prominent collector in Ohio and co-founder of the company that came to manufacture Escort radars, owned the car for nearly four decades prior to the sale. Hannah Elliott, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2023 The above is just a short list of steps to take prior to a branding and marketing campaign. Susan Johnston, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 More specifically, he was employed at the Pilot Point High School, and prior to that, he was employed at Canyon Lake High School in Comal ISD, and Keller High School in Keller ISD. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prior to.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prior to was in 1706

Dictionary Entries Near prior to

Cite this Entry

“Prior to.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

prior to

: in advance of : before

More from Merriam-Webster on prior to

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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