Definition of previous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpriːvɪəs/


1 [attributive] Existing or occurring before in time or order: she looked tired after her exertions of the previous evening the boat’s previous owner
More example sentences
  • It follows a previous interim order which was made out for two months in April.
  • The starting grids are based on a reversal of the finishing order of the previous race.
  • It is the point of order I referred to during your ruling on the previous point of order.
foregoing, preceding, precursory, antecedent, above;
old, earlier, prior, former, ex-, past, last, sometime, one-time, erstwhile, as was
formal quondam
archaic whilom
rare anterior
2 informal Overhasty in acting: I admit I may have been a bit previous
overhasty, hasty, premature, precipitate, impetuous, too early, too soon, untimely, presumptuous
informal ahead of oneself


[mass noun] British informal
Previous convictions; a criminal record: he’s got previous—theft and wounding


previous to

Before: the month previous to publication
More example sentences
  • The economic reality was that previous to that case, quite extended families had been living on these properties for a pittance.
  • ‘None of these 57 sites had any record of toxicity previous to 1988,’ he said.
  • On the pre-recorded show on Sunday night last, Christopher was picked previous to the show to be the member from the audience to perform just before the end.
before, prior to, until, till, up to, earlier than, preceding, leading up to, in advance of, ahead of, ante-, pre-
rare anterior to





Early 17th century: from Latin praevius 'going before' (from prae 'before' + via 'way') + -ous.

Words that rhyme with previous


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre¦vi|ous

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