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Alice Marble U.S. tennis player who won the U.S. tennis championship singles titles four times (1936, 1938-40) prior to working as a spy for U.S. intelligence (b.1913--d.1990).
antebellum in or of the period prior to a war, esp. the American Civil War. (Cf. postbellum.)
antedate a date affixed to a document or event that is prior to its real date. [1/3 definitions]
antiquity ancient times, esp. prior to the Middle Ages. [1/4 definitions]
backdate to mark with a date that is prior to the actual date; predate.
baste1 to sew temporarily with long, loose stitches, as in temporarily assembling the pieces of a garment prior to final sewing.
Berlin Wall a barrier first erected in 1961 that separated West Berlin from East Berlin, eventually fortified and extended to create a border between West Germany and East Germany, and ultimately opened to unrestricted transit on November 9, 1989, prior to being dismantled.
bier a frame or stand on which a corpse, sometimes in a coffin, is laid prior to burial.
British Honduras the name of Belize prior to independence in 1981.
burnout the end of firing of a rocket's engine prior to unpowered flight. [1/3 definitions]
card2 a mechanical device used for combing cotton, wool, or the like in order to remove the shortest fibers prior to spinning. [1/2 definitions]
catafalque a raised platform on which a dead body, usu. in a coffin, rests during or prior to an elaborate funeral.
catechist one who teaches by means of a catechism, esp. one who instructs another in the principles of Christianity prior to confirmation or baptism.
catechumen a person being taught the basic principles of Christianity, such as a convert prior to baptism. [1/2 definitions]
compression the reduction in volume and increase in pressure of air or air mixed with fuel in the cylinder of an internal combustion engine prior to ignition, or the engine cycle in which this process takes place. [1/3 definitions]
crisis the point or moment just prior to a decisive and critical change. [1/2 definitions]
dyed-in-the-wool dyed prior to being woven. [1/2 definitions]
emeritus retired but continuing to hold as an honorary title the one held just prior to retirement. [1/2 definitions]
expurgate to purge (a book or the like) of material considered to be offensive or erroneous prior to publication.
free-fall the initial stage of a parachute jump, prior to the opening of the parachute. [1/2 definitions]
gantry a framework that supports a missile or rocket prior to launch and facilitates construction and maintenance. [1/2 definitions]