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