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 show has had one previous big-screen adaptation, back in 1962. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino to Direct Gypsy, a Burlesque Musical," 7 Feb. 2019 The previous EKGs had measured electrical signals from Mika's heart, but missed what the surgery later revealed: A 98% blockage in her left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Doctors Kept Calling It Stress. Then I Learned I Had a 98% Blockage in My Heart.," 7 Feb. 2019 But interest was muted as the U.S., like his previous benefactors in Germany, seemed only interested in the destructive capacity of his inventions. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Plus, it's made with new APR+ (Advanced Pressure Relief Plus) material, taking the iconic feeling of previous Tempur-Pedic models to the next level. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything to Know Before Buying the Tempur-Pedic LuxeAdapt Mattress," 1 Feb. 2019 Stream on Netflix Start from the beginning and binge all the previous 15 seasons on Netflix. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is 'NCIS' on Tonight?," 29 Jan. 2019 ABC News compiled a list of 31 national emergencies that are already in effect from previous presidents. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 2019 The penalties are similar to the ones in previous Hong Kong laws governing mistreatment of China’s flag. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Hong Kong Moves to Criminalize Disrespect of China’s National Anthem," 9 Jan. 2019 Proponents of the bill say this isn’t the case, and that previous laws make parodies and memes exempt from copyright claims. James Vincent, The Verge, "Everything you need to know about Europe’s new copyright directive," 13 Sep. 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

14 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on previous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with previous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for previous

Spanish Central: Translation of previous

Nglish: Translation of previous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of previous for Arabic Speakers

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