Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

previously

adverb
     
pre‧vi‧ous‧ly S3 W2
before now or before a particular time:
Almost half the group had previously been heavy smokers.
two days/three years etc previously (=two days, three years etc before)
Six months previously he had smashed up his car.
see usage note agoWORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

ago, before, previously
Use ago to say how much time has passed from the time something happened to now, the time of speaking I saw her a few minutes ago. We went to Madrid two years ago.Use before to say how much time passed from the time something happened to a time in the past We went to the same hotel where we stayed two years before.Previously is used in the same way, but is more formal The meeting was a follow-up to one that had been held four days previously.GRAMMAR!! Do not use a preposition ('at', 'in', 'on' etc) before a phrase with ago They first met fifteen years ago (NOT at/in fifteen years ago).!! Do not use 'since' or 'before' with ago I came to the USA two months ago (NOT since/before two months ago).!! Use the past tense, not the present perfect, with ago I started (NOT I've started) a new job a few weeks ago.See also ago

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary