Pronunciation: (prī-ôr'i-tē, -or'-),[key] —n., —pl.-tiesfor 2–4. 1. the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
2. the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
3. the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., esp. during a shortage.
4. something given special attention.
—adj. highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.: a priority task.