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previous Line breaks: pre¦vi|ous
Pronunciation: /ˈpriːvɪəs/

Definition of previous in English:


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.
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 Back to top  
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.


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

Words that rhyme with previous

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