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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Priory \Pri"o*ry\, n.; pl. Priories. [Cf. LL. prioria. See Prior, n.] 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, 2. [1913 Webster] Note: 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. [1913 Webster] Alien priory, a small religious house dependent on a large monastery in some other country. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Cloister. [1913 Webster]