Definition of previous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprēvēəs/


1 [attributive] Existing or occurring before in time or order: she looked tired after her exertions of the previous evening tickets will be sold on the same basis as in previous years
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 Overly hasty in acting or in drawing a conclusion: I admit I may have been a bit previous


previous to

Before: the month previous to publication he seemed to have been in good health previous to the fatal injury
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, leading up to, up to, earlier than, preceding
formal 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

Syllabification: pre·vi·ous

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