previous

adjective
pre·​vi·​ous | \ ˈprē-vē-əs How to pronounce previous (audio) \

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

That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated its drowning-prevention guidelines, noting that kids can now start swimming lessons at one year old, which is a change from their previous recommendations. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "This Is the Age Your Kids Should Start Swimming Lessons," 3 Apr. 2019 No sign yet of Cardi B. (who has been honest about her previous work as a stripper IRL). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "On-Set Photos of Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as Badass Strippers Are My Forever Mood," 28 Mar. 2019 The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star then commented on Jeffree's previous racist comments, asking her fans to forgive and forget. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Every Time Jeffree Star Has Publicly Feuded With the Kardashian/Jenner Family," 18 Mar. 2019 Though not everyone recognizes Dexter from his previous brush with fame, his recent Blind Audition wasn't his first foray back into music since his illness. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Why 'The Voice' Contestant Dexter Roberts's Past Is Causing Controversy," 11 Mar. 2019 There’s even a moving truck prominently labeled Allied, possibly after the director’s previous World War II-related movie. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Welcome to Marwen is Robert Zemeckis’ most revealing movie — and his worst," 20 Dec. 2018 This year, Summit improved its previous showing with a score of 143.5 petaflops per second. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "The Two Fastest Supercomputers In The World Now Belong To The United States," 12 Nov. 2018 Caitriona Balfe’s character Claire Fraser, looks more beautiful in this episode than in any previous one, despite having traveled for months through forests to rescue Roger Mackenzie. Marie Claire, "'Outlander' Season 4 Finale Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways," 28 Jan. 2019 The new Air weighs a quarter of a pound less than the previous one, comes in new colors, and, thanks to Apple’s metallurgy team, is now made entirely of recycled aluminum, which Brooklyn loved and cheered over for a full 30 seconds. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Silicon Valley brings its “humanist,” “minimalist” aesthetic to Brooklyn.," 31 Oct. 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

11 Apr 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 How to pronounce previous (audio) \

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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