If I were to say "the previous item" or "the prior item" or "the preceding item", I could be referring either to the most-recent previous item, or to any other item logically coming before the current one.
How can I refer to not just any prior item, but the last or most-recent item, without using the word "last"?
I'm especially interested in a word that would be a suitable replacement for the "most-recent previous" in technical writing.
By way of clarification...
I'm looking for alternative terminology that de-emphasizes the concept of time and emphasizes the concept of logical ordering. The word "recent" seems too attached to the concept of time. The phrase "most-recent previous" is, frankly, a mouthful --- especially if used repeatedly. The word "last" has the potential to be confused with the ultimate in an entire series, rather than merely the immediate predecessor of any specifically-referred to item the series.