9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 previously
  • Many new species are coming from areas that have not been previously explored or are poorly understood.
  • Attendees also got an early look at previously unknown and little-studied dinosaurs.
  • The evidence becomes even more valuable when the species photographed is elusive, threatened or even previously unknown.
  • It has been encountered in a range of animal species, including chimpanzees, but had never been previously shown in elephants.
  • Some of her patients had previously worn dust masks colored with cosmetic foundation.
  • It was the public reporting of what had previously only been privately discussed that was the real change.
  • But it has been enormously successful at identifying previously unknown individual genes.
  • And the recession was worse than previously believed.
  • Even some winners would be on the hook, if the jury award is much less than they had previously been offered in a settlement.
  • Hotspots have cooled, only for violence to invade places previously considered safe.
British Dictionary definitions for previously


(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 previously



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 previously



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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