Online dictionaries I have consulted are ambiguous on this. Does 'to prioritise' something mean just to give something a priority value (eg. Low) or to set that value to 'High' (or both)?

In many technical/project management fields, it is important to identify if a task's priority has been assessed. Until then, it could be said to be in an 'un-prioritised' state (not 'de-prioritised', which implies that a previously set value of priority has been reduced).

If 'to prioritise' strictly means 'to assign a value of priority', then what is the term for increasing the level of priority. Likewise, if the priority is un-set (not reduced), has it been 'un-prioritised' (as I referred to above), or maybe 'aprioritised'?


Online dictionaries are ambiguous because the word has both meanings.

In programmer-speak, "priority" refers to both a priority value (e.g. 0-100) as well as a priority feature (has priority [over X]). Thus, "to prioritise" is both to "assign priority value" as well as "give priority [over X]".

If clarity is of essence, I'd go for the explicit: of unspecified priority, to specify priority, to increase priority, to decrease priority all refer to the priority value with little to no ambiguity.

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