Definition of a priori in English:

a priori

Pronunciation /ˌā prīˈôrī/ /ˌeɪ praɪˈɔraɪ/

See synonyms for a priori

Translate a priori into Spanish


  • Relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge which proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation or experience.

    ‘a priori assumptions about human nature’
    • ‘And, as seen earlier in connection with his ‘logic’, his concepts of demonstration and proof straddle the a priori / a posteriori distinction.’
    • ‘Historically the a priori / a posteriori distinction has been closely associated with that between the innate and the learned.’
    • ‘This conclusion is not, however, a complete vindication of his early scepticism: for the a priori / empirical distinction, which he sought to bring down as well, is both defensible and worth defending.’
    • ‘In the absence of a clear characterization of the a priori / a posteriori distinction, it is by no means obvious what is being asserted or what is being denied.’
    • ‘So, we will have to make a priori assumptions.’
    • ‘I'm not suggesting we make a priori assumptions about them with everything, but what I am saying is that the ways they seek to accomplish their goals are often contrary to what the organization stands for.’
    • ‘The goal is to make a priori statements about the adversary's behavior which will include all kinds of adversaries, even those never seen.’
    theoretical, deduced, deductive, inferred, scientific
    View synonyms


  • In a way based on theoretical deduction rather than empirical observation.

    ‘sexuality may be a factor but it cannot be assumed a priori’
    • ‘a priori, it would seem that his government was an extension of that power’
    • ‘I argue that an ethical critique is implicit in his objections to any attempt to speak a priori about language and thought.’
    • ‘This much of the theory's content can be specified, so to speak, a priori, before taking physical contingencies into account.’
    • ‘‘It is difficult to conclude a priori that teeth which spontaneously pit are stronger teeth.’’
    theoretically, from theory, deductively, scientifically
    View synonyms


Late 16th century Latin, ‘from what is before’.