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 Drive It Home campaign echoes the successful Bring It Home campaign of 1998, a community response to a previous threat of plant closure (both campaigns held launch events in the same union hall). Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 The beloved Mayfair hotel is known for their festive and fashionable firs—Dior, Lanvin, Jony Ives, and Karl Lagerfeld have all worked on previous iterations—and this year is no exception. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See Diane von Furstenberg’s Seriously Chic London Christmas Tree," 27 Nov. 2018 For the most part, previous Void experiences have tried to re-create locations, props, and characters from films with actual physical counterparts. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Void’s Ralph Breaks VR puts players inside a giant interactive Disney movie," 21 Nov. 2018 The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ costs $25, $5 more than the previous generation, but has a lot more going for it. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "A new Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ has arrived with Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi for $25," 15 Nov. 2018 Miller himself has two children— a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Who Is Jennifer Garner's Boyfriend, John Miller?," 24 Oct. 2018 My only previous mudbath experience involved lounging in an spa alabaster tub filled with grade-A minerals and sipping on cucumber water while someone gently massaged my scalp. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "I Bathed in Colombia’s “Volcano of Youth” and My Skin Has Never Felt Softer," 23 Oct. 2018 Indeed, previous studies have found at least 100 good systems to look for exomoons, and efforts are under way to find them at Beta Pictoris b, a nearby gas giant. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "We're Close To Confirming the Very First Exomoon," 3 Oct. 2018 Interior Minister Sameer Almobaideen said the suspects are Jordanians without previous experience fighting for extremist groups in neighboring Syria and Iraq, where IS once controlled large areas. Alice Su, Fox News, "Suspects in latest Jordan attack are homegrown militants," 13 Aug. 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

5 Dec 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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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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