pre·​view | \ ˈprē-ˌvyü How to pronounce preview (audio) \
previewed; previewing; previews

Definition of preview

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to see beforehand specifically : to view or to show in advance of public presentation
2 : to give a preliminary survey of



Definition of preview (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an advance statement, sample, or survey
2 : an advance showing or performance (as of a motion picture or play)
3 or less commonly prevue \ ˈprē-​ˌvyü How to pronounce prevue (audio) \ : a selected group of scenes shown to advertise a movie, television show, etc.

called also trailer

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Other Words from preview


previewer \ ˈprē-​ˌvyü-​ər How to pronounce previewer (audio) \ noun

Examples of preview in a Sentence


The designers will preview their new lines at the fashion show. They previewed the upcoming football season. You can preview the page before you print it.


We saw the movie at a special preview. Before the movie starts they always show previews of coming attractions. There are previews of the next week's episode at the end of each show. They gave a preview of the upcoming football season. The magazine includes a preview of the newest fall fashions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After previewing a few pieces, the Spider-Man: Far From Home star will debut the full range on Sunday with a runway show. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Zendaya Rocked a Suit and Tie at BAZAAR ICONS," 7 Sep. 2019 Biden will vow to convene a summit of democratic states in the first year of his presidency and place a premium on acting in concert with U.S. allies, a senior campaign official said Wednesday in previewing the address. NBC News, "Greg Murphy wins GOP runoff in North Carolina's 3rd district," 11 July 2019 Sometimes, a carmaker slips a gem into a broadly run-of-the-mill exercise in previewing a future technology. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "If You Crash a Mercedes-Benz in the Future, It Could Deploy a Robot to Warn Other Drivers," 21 May 2019 Peck pioneered the practice, now common in the ballet world, of previewing new work with short, stylish trailers distributed on social media. Sasha Weiss, New York Times, "Justin Peck Is Making Ballet That Speaks to Our Everyday Lives," 10 May 2018 Part of the exercise of previewing the Kentucky Derby is to select the winner. Tim Layden,, "Kentucky Derby Preview: Justify Headlines Unusually Crowded Field of Contenders," 3 May 2018 Potential buyers will be able to preview the estate items online starting Oct. 2, and bidding will be open from Oct. 9 through Oct. 30. Paul Stephen,, "Anthony Bourdain’s estate getting auctioned; preview in New Braunfels," 16 Sep. 2019 ACC Louisville head football Scott Satterfield was on the podium at ACC Media Days to preview his first season as head coach of the Cardinals. Dominique Yates, The Courier-Journal, "Everything Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield said at ACC Media Days 2019," 18 July 2019 Woman’s Day Editor-in-Chief Susan Spencer attended RVX: The RV Experience, the industry’s premier event in Salt Lake City, to preview the newest and most innovative RVs to hit the road in 2019. Kate Rockwood, Woman's Day, "How to Make the Most of Your Next Family Adventure," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sports columnist John Canzano previews the week ahead in a video by looking back at Justin Herbert’s 300+ yard passing game on Saturday and the fists that flew in the OSU loss. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Watch: John Canzano talks Oregon Ducks’ flying passes and Oregon State’s flying fists," 9 Sep. 2019 Buzz: In a possible preview of the Class 1A state finals with all three teams likely to make it there, the Griffins edged the Centurions and Royals at Falcon’s Fire. Jaret Kappelman,, "Orlando area high school scores and top performers for Sept. 12," 12 Sep. 2019 Girlfriend’ When: In previews. Opens Sept. 21. 7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Girlfriend’ sets a story of unexpected romance to songs of Matthew Sweet, in local premiere at Diversionary," 11 Sep. 2019 The Broadway production is now in previews and scheduled to run for 17 weeks at the 800-seat John Golden Theater. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Is Broadway Ready for ‘Slave Play’?," 11 Sep. 2019 Swift, who plays a feline named Bombalurina, exclaims in a new preview of the Dec. 20 release. Rosy Cordero,, "Watch Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden in new behind-the-scenes preview of Cats," 10 Sep. 2019 UConn men’s basketball will meet Buffalo in the first round of the Charleston Classic this November, before potentially facing Xavier in a preview of a future Big East match-up. Alex Putterman,, "UConn to face Buffalo, then Xavier or Towson in Charleston Classic tournament," 11 July 2019 However there were some bright spots in the earnings preview. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Exxon expects mixed bag for second quarter earnings," 2 July 2019 In a preview to the show, Galante is seen riding around in an airboat at night using drones equipped with thermal cameras to pick up on heat signatures of a herd of deer and a looming predator (the black panther?). Johnny Diaz,, "Animal Planet's 'Extinct or Alive' heads to the Everglades in search of black panther," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preview.' 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 preview


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for preview

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preview

The first known use of preview was in 1607

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More Definitions for preview



English Language Learners Definition of preview

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to see, hear, or show something (such as a movie) before it is available to the public
: to give a general description of (something that will happen in the future)
: to see an example of what something will look like



English Language Learners Definition of preview (Entry 2 of 2)

: a special show or performance that allows some people to see a movie, play, etc., before it is shown to the public
US : a selected group of scenes that are shown to advertise a movie or television show
: a description of something that will happen or be available in the future


pre·​view | \ ˈprē-ˌvyü How to pronounce preview (audio) \

Kids Definition of preview

: an instance of showing something (as a movie) before others get to see it

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More from Merriam-Webster on preview

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preview

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preview

Spanish Central: Translation of preview

Nglish: Translation of preview for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preview for Arabic Speakers

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