Relative importance or urgency. Priority is the quality of having precedence, i.e. requiring early attention, and can be quantified by numerical value, which is used to determine the order in which several requests for a resource are satisfied. In the situation where several otherwise identical processes are free to run, the one with the highest priority will be run next, hence the term priority processing. A priority interrupt in a system will be dealt with ahead of standard interrupts that may be awaiting a response. In data transmission a field is allocated to the holding of a code that indicates the relative urgency of the associated message. See also interrupt priority, interrupt I/O.