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previous

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adjective pre·vi·ous \ˈprē-vē-əs\

Simple Definition of previous

  • : existing or happening before the present time

  • : earlier in time or order

  • : immediately before in time or order

Full Definition of previous

  1. 1 :  going before in time or order :  prior

  2. 2 :  acting too soon :  premature <somewhat previous in his conclusion>

pre·vi·ous·ly adverb
pre·vi·ous·ness noun

Examples of previous

  1. She has a child from a previous marriage.

  2. The two characters met in a previous chapter.

  3. the previous owners of the house



Origin of previous

Latin praevius leading the way, from prae- pre- + via way — more at way


First Known Use: 1625

Synonym Discussion of previous

preceding, antecedent, foregoing, previous, prior, former, anterior mean being before. preceding usually implies being immediately before in time or in place <the preceding sentence>. antecedent applies to order in time and may suggest a causal relation <conditions antecedent to the revolution>. foregoing applies chiefly to statements <the foregoing remarks>. previous and prior imply existing or occurring earlier, but prior often adds an implication of greater importance <a child from a previous marriage> <a prior obligation>. former implies always a definite comparison or contrast with something that is latter <the former name of the company>. anterior applies to position before or ahead of usually in space, sometimes in time or order <the anterior lobe of the brain>.

Rhymes with previous




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