In essence, when something is going to be done, or how important it is. Used to talk about everything from processes in Unix to morals and life-related goals.

An important term in modern fencing.

If, when regulation time expires in a fencing bout, the score is tied, then "priority" is given to one of the fencers through a simple game of chance (usually just flipping a coin). Then, a one minute overtime period is fenced. If a single touch is scored by either fencer during overtime, than that fencer is the winner. But, if neither fencer score a deciding touch by the end of the one minute, then the fencer with priority wins the bout.

Screwy, no? I personally think that priority is a ridiculously silly rule. Go to double or triple overtime if necessary, because losing a close match because of the flip of a coin absolutely sucks and is no measure of one fencer's superiority over the other.

Pri*or"i*ty (?), n. [Cf. F. priorit'e. See Prior, a.]


The quality or state of being prior or antecedent in time, or of preceding something else; as, priority of application.


Precedence; superior rank.


Priority of debts, a superior claim to payment, or a claim to payment before others.

Syn. -- Antecedence; precedence; preeminence.


© Webster 1913.

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