Origin: Cf. LL. Prioria. See Prior.

A religious house presided over by a prior or prioress; sometimes an offshoot of, an subordinate to, an abbey, and called also cell, and obedience. See Cell.

Of such houses there were two sorts: one where the prior was chosen by the inmates, and governed as independently as an abbot in an abbey; the other where the priory was subordinate to an abbey, and the prior was placed or displaced at the will of the abbot. Alien priory, a small religious house dependent on a large monastery in some other country.

Synonyms: See Cloister.

(01 Mar 1998)

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