Definition of previous in US English:



  • 1attributive 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’
    • ‘It later emerged it had already been used and returned by a previous owner and then sold again to the Galls.’
    • ‘We suspect it was one of the last rooms decorated by the previous owners as they readied the house for sale.’
    • ‘It follows a previous interim order which was made out for two months in April.’
    • ‘The previous owner had filled in spaces between the beams with sawn-up wardrobes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ouch - that woozy Sunday feeling when you've had a very late one the previous evening.’
    • ‘The previous owner built a spaceship in the garden, which might not appeal to everyone.’
    • ‘He reportedly bought the island from its previous owners, a Japanese hotel firm.’
    • ‘The order will be the reverse of the finishing order of the previous race, with the winner running last.’
    • ‘She could not recall, in fact, very well what had happened the previous evening.’
    • ‘The inquest heard that he had spent the previous evening drinking with a friend.’
    • ‘Famously, he had divorced Josephine the previous year in order to found a dynasty.’
    • ‘They included previous shop owners and a man whose father had scrawled his name on the arcade's wall.’
    • ‘Its previous owner had bought it from an aircraft museum that got into financial difficulties.’
    • ‘The previous owners were heavy smokers and the bricks are stained with nicotine.’
    • ‘It is the point of order I referred to during your ruling on the previous point of order.’
    • ‘To my surprise, it showed that the item had been delivered at 6pm the previous evening.’
    • ‘I also managed to fill a skip to overflowing with the junk the previous owners had left behind.’
    • ‘The previous owner of the Westhoughton shop ran a printing business from the premises.’
    foregoing, preceding, precursory, antecedent, above
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  • 2informal Overly hasty in acting or in drawing a conclusion.

    ‘I admit I may have been a bit previous’
    overhasty, hasty, premature, precipitate, impetuous, too early, too soon, untimely, presumptuous
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  • previous to

    • Before.

      ‘the month previous to publication’
      ‘he seemed to have been in good health previous to the fatal injury’
      • ‘It indicates that there were two launches previous to Gagarin.’
      • ‘She's encountered him several times previous to this, and despite her attempts to spread the magic fairy-dust, her attempts seemed to be in vain.’
      • ‘The skull was complete but for a recent break across the snout which is interpreted as being caused by mechanical dredging of the pond which occurred previous to the find.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I studied economics at the University of Victoria previous to my nursing education although I did not complete an undergraduate degree.’
      • ‘And just to rub salt into the wounds of those envious of her, previous to joining Irish Distillers she was on the tasting panel at Guinness.’
      • ‘There had been bad cases of Blight in certain years from the late 1770's and for at least three years previous to 1847 the crop had been failing.’
      • ‘We know Kissinger spoke to Putin the week previous to the Bush-Putin mini summit.’
      • ‘Breeding records show that for four years previous to this, experts worried that the distinctive toad was extinct altogether in the area.’
      • ‘He was said to be a healthy 6 ft 5in tall man who suffered slightly from asthma but previous to this episode never had any suspicion he was allergic to wasp stings.’
      • ‘I just felt that, previous to the collection, I had been writing poems I didn't enjoy reading.’
      • ‘The Protestant Church had been built four years previous to this in 1818.’
      • ‘And this was all in the middle of making dinner, for which I had been hungry for an hour and a half previous to the breakage.’
      • ‘A significantly milder statement was finally released, which supported the student protest previous to the occupation.’
      • ‘Perhaps the months previous to this blog reactivation are best summed up in one sentence.’
      • ‘I have no knowledge of any of the family previous to them.’
      • ‘MTV commissioned a bunch of tv graphics people to produce 3 seconds of video - and they could only see the three seconds previous to it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Everything he'd written previous to that was pretty much doodling.’
      before, prior to, until, till, up to, earlier than, preceding, leading up to, in advance of, ahead of, ante-, pre-
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Early 17th century: from Latin praevius ‘going before’ (from prae ‘before’ + via ‘way’) + -ous.