previous

adjective
pre·​vi·​ous | \ˈprē-vē-əs \

Definition of previous 

1 : going before in time or order : prior the previous owners previous attempts had failed reread the previous page

2 : acting too soon : premature somewhat previous in his conclusion

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Other Words from previous

previously adverb
Physicists have constructed a pipette that dispenses a billionth of a trillionth of a liter, a droplet that's a thousand times as small as volumes previously achieved. — A. Cunningham Previously, many mutations have been induced by harsh treatments such as X rays, UV light or chemicals. — Kevin Struhl
previousness noun
Had I been capable of looking closer then, I might have asked myself why every kind of previousness miraculously survived there … — Robyn Davidson

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of previous in a Sentence

She has a child from a previous marriage. The two characters met in a previous chapter. the previous owners of the house
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 25-year-old righthander didn’t make it out of the third inning in his previous start. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Nick Pivetta picks up much-needed win in Phillies' victory over Orioles," 12 July 2018 The Nationals had been shut out in three of Scherzer's previous five starts. Bobby Bancroft, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Reynolds upstages Turner, drives in 10 runs in Nats' 18-4 annihilation of Marlins," 7 July 2018 Six times in the 20 previous World Cups, the host has lifted the trophy — though those countries were soccer powers at the time. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Casting a wary eye toward World Cup host Russia," 6 July 2018 Excluding games involving the U.S. team in previous World Cups, the average declined 28 percent from the 2014 tournament in Brazil and was up 1 percent from the 2010 tournament in South Africa. Houston Chronicle, "England defeats Colombia on PKs to reach World Cup quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 In a familiar scene that’s played out on the weekends in three previous starts, especially on Sundays, Woods put himself onto the front page of the leaderboard only to start making silly and, at times, shocking mistakes. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "Tiger Woods has familiar letdown after charging up the leaderboard," 1 July 2018 Odorizzi had allowed just two runs over 17 innings in his previous three starts. Brian Hall, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Twins hit Nathan Eovaldi hard, hold off Rays 11-8," 14 July 2018 In some previous cases, the company has successfully appealed. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, "Johnson & Johnson still battling thousands of cases involving its talcum powder," 13 July 2018 His current mark of 26 eclipses his previous best of 24, achieved on April 8, 2017. Trevor Anderson, Billboard, "Drake Ties The Game For Most No. 1s on Top Rap Albums Chart," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'previous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of previous

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for previous

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

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Statistics for previous

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for previous

The first known use of previous was in 1621

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More Definitions for previous

previous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of previous

: existing or happening before the present time

: earlier in time or order

: immediately before in time or order

previous

adjective
pre·​vi·​ous | \ˈprē-vē-əs \

Kids Definition of previous

: going before in time or order : preceding No previous experience is needed.

Other Words from previous

previously adverb

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Comments on previous

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