1. from a general law to a particular instance; valid independently of observation.Compare a posteriori(def 1).
  2. existing in the mind prior to and independent of experience, as a faculty or character trait.Compare a posteriori(def 2).
  3. not based on prior study or examination; nonanalytic: an a priori judgment.


  1. logic relating to or involving deductive reasoning from a general principle to the expected facts or effects
  2. logic known to be true independently of or in advance of experience of the subject matter; requiring no evidence for its validation or support
  3. statistics See prior probability, mathematical probability

1710, “from cause to effect” (a logical term, in reference to reasoning), Latin, literally “from what comes first,” from priori, ablative of prior “first” (see prior (adj.)). Used loosely for “in accordance with previous knowledge” (1834).

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