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To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

preceding, previous, prior

Preceding refers to what comes immediately before.

  • The preceding clause spells out the conditions of the loan.

Previous and prior, which are synonymous, mean “existing or occurring at some indefinite time before something else.”

  • She has a child from a previous (or prior) marriage.

Prior can also imply priority, as in a prior engagement.

  • Unfortunately, the president cannot accept your invitation because he has a prior engagement.