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.

1615–25; < Latin praevius going before, equivalent to prae- pre- + vi(a) way + -us adj. suffix

previously, adverb
previousness, noun

1. earlier, former, preceding, foregoing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
previous (ˈpriːvɪəs)
1.  (prenominal) existing or coming before something else in time or position; prior
2.  informal (postpositive) taking place or done too soon; premature
3.  previous to before; prior to
[C17: from Latin praevius leading the way, from prae before + via way]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1625, from L. prævius "going before," from præ "before" + via "road" (see via).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
More copies exist of one of his works than of all previous artworks by all
  prior artists.
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.
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