precedence, precedency, priority
Meaning: status established in order of importance or urgency; "...its precedence as the world's leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals"; "national independence takes priority over class struggle"
Bowers checks every case as it comes on shore and dashes off to the ship to arrange the precedence of different classes of goods.
Owing to this arrangement, Adam, being, of course, at the bottom of the table, fell under the immediate observation of Mr. Casson, who, too much occupied with the question of precedence, had not hitherto noticed his entrance.
That I may know on which side this dependence lies, I consider the order of their first appearance; and find by constant experience, that the simple impressions always take the precedence of their correspondent ideas, but never appear in the contrary order.