pri·​o·​ry | \ ˈprī-(ə-)rē How to pronounce priory (audio) \
plural priories

Definition of priory

: a religious house under a prior or prioress

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Examples of priory in a Sentence

you can hear the bells from the priory from the other side of the village
Recent Examples on the Web In 2013, the multi-disciplinary group of researchers archaeologists excavated a mound of glacial sand and gravel on the former site of the wealthy priory, which was ultimately shuttered in 1539 by Henry VIII. Jennifer Pinkowski, National Geographic, "Black Death discovery offers rare new look at plague catastrophe," 18 Feb. 2020 Venture into the ruins of this important 14th-century Carthusian priory located at the edge of North York Moors National Park. National Geographic, "Hiking England Coast to Coast," 12 June 2019 Malcolm led the way around the back of the priory and came to the side where the window of Lyra’s nursery would be, if it hadn’t been hidden by the new shutters. Philip Pullman, Slate Magazine, "The Gentleman and the Child," 26 May 2017 In between helping out at his dad’s pub and riding the city’s canals in the beloved canoe that gives the book its title, Malcolm is introduced to a baby, Lyra, who is being looked after by an order of nuns at a nearby priory. Dan Stewart, Time, "Philip Pullman Has Made a Career Building New Worlds. He’s Not Done Yet," 19 Oct. 2017 Serving customers and doing odd jobs for the nuns at the priory across the road has put Malcolm in a special position to notice growing disquiet in the adult world. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Review: Philip Pullman Returns to Lyra’s Oxford in ‘The Book of Dust’," 18 Oct. 2017 The museum is based in a medieval priory founded by the Cluniac order of monks in the 13th century. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "PSA: Do Not Place Your Child in an 800-Year-Old Coffin," 23 Aug. 2017 The 800-year-old relic was found on the grounds of the priory in 1921. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "800-year-old coffin survives centuries, but doesn’t survive photo op," 24 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of priory

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for priory

Middle English priorie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin prioria, from prior

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Time Traveler for priory

Time Traveler

The first known use of priory was in the 13th century

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Statistics for priory

Last Updated

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Priory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for priory


How to pronounce priory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of priory

: a place where a group of monks or nuns live : a religious house that is under the direction of a prior or prioress


pri·​o·​ry | \ ˈprī-ə-rē How to pronounce priory (audio) \
plural priories

Kids Definition of priory

: a religious house under the leadership of a prior or prioress

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More from Merriam-Webster on priory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for priory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with priory

Spanish Central: Translation of priory

Nglish: Translation of priory for Spanish Speakers

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