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

After that, growth is projected to accelerate to 2.1% in 2020—a slight upward revision from the previous 1.9% estimate. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Bank of Canada Holds Its Key Rate Steady at 1.75%," 9 Jan. 2019 And while previous test-tube studies had linked cooked cruciferous veggies with a lower nutrient availability, newer findings support the idea that eating cabbage and other veggies in any form is good for you and helps to support digestion. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Fact: Cabbage Packs the Same Nutritional Benefits as Kale," 7 Jan. 2019 Researchers at Stanford University now estimate that there are 1.47 million solar panels in use across the contiguous 48 states, a number that's higher than any other previous estimate. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Map Powered by A.I. Reveals Almost Every Solar Panel in America," 20 Dec. 2018 In a previous study, Ellis’ team built an app to log smartphone activations. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "The problem with studies saying phones are bad for you," 5 Dec. 2018 The shell continues to be aluminum, but gone are the distinctive—and somewhat dated—curves of the previous model. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Blade Stealth gets a long-awaited upgrade to GeForce graphics and a Whiskey Lake CPU," 4 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, the testosterone in the gel will serve as a replacement testosterone—eliminating the side effects in previous male birth control studies, such as erectile dysfunction and low libido. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "This New Topical Gel Birth Control For Men Could Change Everything," 30 Nov. 2018 State and local governments spent just 2 percent, down from the previous estimate of 3.2 percent. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter," 28 Nov. 2018 Their uncertainty range was wide: for the global SCC, the range ran from figures close to previous estimates of around US$40 per tonne of CO2, right up into US$5,000, with a few estimates even reaching $10,000. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The US would suffer some of the biggest costs of climate change," 30 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

17 Jan 2019

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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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