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 The lawsuit asks a judge to strike down the entire Clean Campaign Act and prohibit Mangan from following through on prosecuting Montana Citizens for Right to Work over a previous alleged violation. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2021 The recycled Falcon rocket soared from the same Kennedy Space Center pad used by the company's three previous astronaut flights for NASA. Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2021 The essential backstage characters include Foley as Nick, whose previous reality show was a huge flop and who'll do just about anything in order to get compelling footage, including filming surreptitiously. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 16 Sep. 2021 The game is just the third sellout in Mullen’s four seasons, and a raucous home crowd was instrumental in winning the previous two. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2021 Princess Beatrice is also a stepmother to Edo's young son from a previous relationship. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 16 Sep. 2021 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva was called out Thursday by the World Bank, her previous employer, for applying pressure to boost China’s position in a ranking of economies. Time, 16 Sep. 2021 The recycled Falcon rocket soared from the same Kennedy Space Center pad used by the company’s three previous astronaut flights for NASA. Marcia Dunn, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2021 Worse than previous recessions More than 22 million jobs were lost through March and April of 2020 when the pandemic prompted widespread business shutdowns. CBS News, 16 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for previous

Time Traveler

The first known use of previous was in 1621

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Dictionary Entries Near previous

preview

previous

previous examination

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Statistics for previous

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Previous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/previous. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on previous

Nglish: Translation of previous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of previous for Arabic Speakers

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