- An example of former is a person who was once a policeman but is now retired.
- An example of former is the first thing mentioned in a serious of items.
The definition of former is something that happened in the past or a previously held role.
- preceding in time; earlier; past: in former times
- first mentioned of two: often used absolutely (with the): Jack and Bill are twins, but the former is taller than the latter
Origin of formerMiddle English formere, comparative of forme, first from Old English forma: see foremost
a person or thing that forms
- One that forms; a maker or creator: a former of ideas.
- A member of a school form: a fifth former.
- Relating to or taking place in the past: in former times.
- Having been so in the past: a former ambassador; his former boss.
- Being the first of two mentioned.
The first of two persons or things mentioned: “The army was pulling itself together, the government was coming apart. The success of the former was continually imperiled by the failure of the latter” ( Garry Wills )
Origin of formerMiddle English comparative of forme first from Old English forma ; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
From Middle English former, comparative of forme (“first”), from Old English forma (“first”).
- Someone who forms something; a maker; a creator or founder.
- Dave was the former of the company.
- An object used to form something, such as a template, gauge, or cutting die.
- The brick arch was built using a wooden former.
- (chiefly UK, used in combinations) Someone in, or of, a certain form (class).