From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpreviouspre‧vi‧ous /ˈpriːviəs/ ●●● S1 W1 AWL adjective 1 [only before noun]BEFORE having happened or existed before the event, time, or thing that you are talking about now I’ve met him before on two previous occasions. She has two children from a previous marriage. Do you have any previous experience of this type of work? The lawyer told the judge that Kennedy had no previous convictions.► see thesaurus at last2 → the previous day/chapter/owner etc3 → previous to somethingTHESAURUSprevious [only before noun] used when talking about a person, thing, time etc before the one that you are talking about nowThe car’s previous owner didn’t take very good care of it.Please ignore my previous instructions.The temperature is higher than in previous years.last [only before noun] used when talking about the one that you had just before now, or the one that existed just before nowThe last apartment we lived in was much smaller than this one.Ben’s last girlfriend was a teacher.Beth broke up with her last boyfriend because he drank too much.old [only before noun] used when talking about people you knew or things you had in the past, or about things that existed in the past and have been replaced by newer thingsI never liked my old boss.I saw Phil with one of my old girlfriends.The new stadium is much bigger than the old one.He was my old maths teacher.preceding [only before noun] formal coming just before the time or thing you have just mentioned, or before the part of a book where you are nowThere were fewer crimes compared to the preceding year.The author dealt with this subject in the preceding chapters of the book. In the preceding section of the poem, Whitman is talking about how important it is to live in the present.former [only before noun] formal used to describe someone or something that used to have a particular job or position but does not anymoreher former husband the former US presidentKyoto was the former capital of Japan.ex-wife/boyfriend/soldier etc someone who used to be someone’s wife, used to be a soldier etc, but is not anymoreHer dad’s an ex-policeman.Lydia is still friends with her ex-husband.the one before the person or thing that existed before the one you have just mentionedI didn’t enjoy Spielberg’s last film but I thought the one before was all right.Each year, the convention is a little larger than the one before.
Examples from the Corpusprevious• The previous chapter examined how children learn language.• He had been in the village the previous evening and I hadn't bothered to wait up until he returned.• Of the previous four victims, three have been killed and one left paralysed.• Please ignore my previous instructions.• Andi has two children from a previous marriage.• More particularly, different aspects and different consequences of this previous moral order are identified.• Each number in the series 2 - 4 - 8 - 16 is twice as large as the previous number.• Kirsty's baby had been born the previous October, while she was still in England.• The previous owner did not take very good care of the place.• The car's previous owner didn't take very good care of it.• That way, if you have a catastrophic problem, you can restore your system to its previous state.• The study also found that garlic supplements reduced blood pressure modestly, confirming results from previous studies.• She had been diagnosed the previous summer with congestive heart failure, but for a year a new medicine worked well.• It will be faster, more versatile and user-friendly than any previous technology.• The company recorded a 50% increase in profits over the previous year.Origin previous (1600-1700) Latin praevius “leading the way”, from via “way”