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’
    • ‘The inquest heard that he had spent the previous evening drinking with a friend.’
    • ‘She could not recall, in fact, very well what had happened the previous evening.’
    • ‘The previous owner built a spaceship in the garden, which might not appeal to everyone.’
    • ‘It is the point of order I referred to during your ruling on the previous point of order.’
    • ‘In contrast to the previous evening the pleasures of the flesh were much in evidence.’
    • ‘The starting grids are based on a reversal of the finishing order of the previous race.’
    • ‘Its previous owner had bought it from an aircraft museum that got into financial difficulties.’
    • ‘It follows a previous interim order which was made out for two months in April.’
    • ‘To my surprise, it showed that the item had been delivered at 6pm the previous evening.’
    • ‘The previous owner had filled in spaces between the beams with sawn-up wardrobes.’
    • ‘We suspect it was one of the last rooms decorated by the previous owners as they readied the house for sale.’
    • ‘Ouch - that woozy Sunday feeling when you've had a very late one the previous evening.’
    • ‘The order will be the reverse of the finishing order of the previous race, with the winner running last.’
    • ‘It later emerged it had already been used and returned by a previous owner and then sold again to the Galls.’
    • ‘The previous owners were heavy smokers and the bricks are stained with nicotine.’
    • ‘They included previous shop owners and a man whose father had scrawled his name on the arcade's wall.’
    • ‘The previous owner of the Westhoughton shop ran a printing business from the premises.’
    • ‘Famously, he had divorced Josephine the previous year in order to found a dynasty.’
    • ‘He reportedly bought the island from its previous owners, a Japanese hotel firm.’
    • ‘I also managed to fill a skip to overflowing with the junk the previous owners had left behind.’
    foregoing, preceding, precursory, antecedent, above
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  • 2informal Overhasty in acting.

    ‘I admit I may have been a bit previous’
    overhasty, hasty, premature, precipitate, impetuous, too early, too soon, untimely, presumptuous
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  • [mass noun] Previous convictions; a criminal record.

    ‘he's got previous—theft and wounding’
    criminal record, police record, list of offences, list of previous convictions
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Early 17th century: from Latin praevius going before (from prae before + via way) + -ous.