"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[pree-vee-uh s] /ˈpri vi əs/
coming or occurring before something else; prior:
the previous owner.
Informal. done, occurring, etc., before the proper time; premature:
Aren't you a little previous with that request?
previous to, before; prior to:
Previous to moving here she lived in Chicago.
Origin of previous
1615-25; < Latin praevius going before, equivalent to prae- pre- + vi(a) way + -us adj. suffix
Related forms
previously, adverb
previousness, noun
1. earlier, former, preceding, foregoing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for previous
  • More copies exist of one of his works than of all previous artworks by all prior artists.
  • previous research reported that the risk of suicide decreases with increasing coffee consumption.
  • In previous entries of my sabbatical diary, one topic that arose was how to handle expansive periods of unstructured time.
  • It would have stopped counting non-violent, non-serious crimes as third strikes, unless a previous strike was heinous.
  • previous research showed that people tend to find typical things more attractive, from watches to birds to faces.
  • There were a couple of issues with my previous calculation of the best fractional representation of pi.
  • See the many other discussions of this in previous and current threads.
  • previous experiments had expected elephants to pick up tools using their trunks to solve problems.
  • Don't forget to check out previous years' gift guides.
  • previous experience in a clinical and/or teaching environment preferred.
British Dictionary definitions for previous


(prenominal) existing or coming before something else in time or position; prior
(postpositive) (informal) taking place or done too soon; premature
previous to, before; prior to
Derived Forms
previously, adverb
previousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin praevius leading the way, from prae before + via way
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for previous

1620s, from Latin praevius "going before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + via "road" (see via). Related: Previously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for previous



An earlier conviction: Kid looks clean; no previous (1935+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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