Meaning of “previous” in the English Dictionary

"previous" in British English

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previousadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈpriː.vi.əs/ us /ˈpriː.vi.əs/

B1 happening or existing before something or someone else:

The previous owner of the house had built an extension on the back.
Training is provided, so no previous experience is required for the job.
He has two daughters from a previous marriage.

More examples

  • He took over from the previous headmaster in February.
  • Sales this year exceeded the total for the two previous years.
  • I'd just like to comment on what your previous caller was saying.
  • He has a long record of previous convictions for similar offences.
  • Her previous secretary only lasted a month.

previousnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈpriː.vi.əs/ us /ˈpriː.vi.əs/

UK slang If someone has previous, they have been found guilty of one or more crimes in the past. Previous is short for "previous convictions":

He's got previous for stealing from his employer.

(Definition of “previous” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"previous" in American English

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previousadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈpri·vi·əs/

happening or existing before the one mentioned:

The previous owner of the house added a back porch.
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ˈpri·vi·əs·li/

She was previously employed as a tour guide.

(Definition of “previous” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)