Learner's definition of PREVIOUS
existing or happening before the present time
She has a child from a previous marriage.
She has made previous attempts to quit smoking. [=she has tried to quit smoking before]
No previous [=past] experience is necessary.
I can't go to the party because of a previous [=prior] engagement. [=because I agreed to be somewhere else before I knew about the party]
earlier in time or order
In previous [=past] years, we always went to the beach for vacation.
a previous album/book [=an album/book made before the current album/book]
The two characters met in a previous chapter.
the previous owners of the house
immediately before in time or order
before (a time, event, etc.)
Previously, the state paid for the program.
The author's new book includes some previously published material.