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adjective pre·vi·ous \ˈprē-vē-əs\

: existing or happening before the present time

: earlier in time or order

: immediately before in time or order

Full Definition of PREVIOUS

:  going before in time or order :  prior
:  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

PREVIOUSLY Defined for Kids


adjective pre·vi·ous \ˈprē-vē-əs\

Definition of PREVIOUS for Kids

:  going before in time or order :  preceding <No previous experience is needed.>
pre·vi·ous·ly adverb


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