Definition of previous in English:


See synonyms for previous

Translate previous into Spanish


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



/ˈprēvēəs/ /ˈpriviəs/


    previous to
    • Before.

      ‘the month previous to publication’
      • ‘he seemed to have been in good health previous to the fatal injury’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It indicates that there were two launches previous to Gagarin.’
      • ‘A significantly milder statement was finally released, which supported the student protest previous to the occupation.’
      • ‘Everything he'd written previous to that was pretty much doodling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Protestant Church had been built four years previous to this in 1818.’
      • ‘Breeding records show that for four years previous to this, experts worried that the distinctive toad was extinct altogether in the area.’
      • ‘I have no knowledge of any of the family previous to them.’
      • ‘I just felt that, previous to the collection, I had been writing poems I didn't enjoy reading.’
      • ‘Perhaps the months previous to this blog reactivation are best summed up in one sentence.’
      • ‘We know Kissinger spoke to Putin the week previous to the Bush-Putin mini summit.’
      • ‘I studied economics at the University of Victoria previous to my nursing education although I did not complete an undergraduate degree.’


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