former

adjective
for·​mer | \ ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce former (audio) \

Definition of former

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : coming before in time She now appears like her former self.
b : of, relating to, or occurring in the past former correspondence restoring the theater to its former glory
2 : preceding in place or arrangement : foregoing the former part of the chapter
3 : first in order of two or more things cited or understood of the two given, the former spelling is more common of the two spellings, the former is more common
4 : having been previously : onetime a former athlete her former husband

former

noun
form·​er | \ ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce former (audio) \

Definition of former (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that forms
2 chiefly British : a member of a school form usually used in combination sixth former

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Synonyms for former

Synonyms: Adjective

erstwhile, late, old, once, onetime, other, past, quondam, sometime, whilom

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Choose the Right Synonym for former

Adjective

preceding, antecedent, foregoing, previous, prior, former, anterior mean being before. preceding usually implies being immediately before in time or in place. the preceding sentence antecedent applies to order in time and may suggest a causal relation. conditions antecedent to the revolution foregoing applies chiefly to statements. the foregoing remarks previous and prior imply existing or occurring earlier, but prior often adds an implication of greater importance. a child from a previous marriage a prior obligation former implies always a definite comparison or contrast with something that is latter. the former name of the company anterior applies to position before or ahead of usually in space, sometimes in time or order. the anterior lobe of the brain

Examples of former in a Sentence

Adjective

the coach is a former professional baseball player the former manual had some errors, but the current version has its own problems

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The party is in part being put together by DJ and former Daft Punk manager Busy P, and his record label, Ed Banger Records. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Versailles Is Putting on a Rave in the Hall of Mirrors," 29 Mar. 2019 The former requires a mental health professional, while the latter could be handled by an educator with a specialization in providing support for people with ADHD. Gia Miller, SELF, "Hiring a Coach for My ADHD Transformed My Life and Productivity," 27 Mar. 2019 In other news: Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, won’t be getting out of jail any time soon. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Get Rid of My Kids!”," 17 Mar. 2019 Once the residence of former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, the family’s 1933 brick Georgian house is now a prismatic wonderland. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "This Chic House Is Designed to Be a Playground—For Kids and Adults," 11 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, a former human resources manager with Planned Parenthood told the Times that doctors’ notes were seen as excuses by pregnant employees for working less. Anna North, Vox, "Planned Parenthood is facing criticism for its treatment of pregnant workers," 21 Dec. 2018 News adds that the two young stars will film at JoJo’s place, because North was really excited to see the former Dance Moms star’s house. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "JoJo Siwa and North West Are Reportedly Collaborating on a YouTube Video," 24 Mar. 2019 The actress' doting boyfriend, former Bachelorette star Wells Adams, has been by her side during her recovery. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Wells Adams Cheered Up Sarah Hyland After She Returned from the Hospital This Weekend," 24 Mar. 2019 Our house, in a former New England mill and farming town, was built circa 1910. Popular Mechanics, "To Install a Pull-Up Bar, We Built a Surfboard," 23 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That’s because studies showing a link between digital technology and depression don’t necessarily prove that the former caused the latter. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 Both versions of the story pits Fox News against one of its formers stars. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Kimberly Guilfoyle allegedly left Fox News amid accusations of sexual misconduct," 27 July 2018 The former opened right in the village in 1993 and doesn’t require reservations for tastings; ideal for spontaneity. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This French Island Is the Nantucket of the Mediterranean," 16 Aug. 2018 Neolithic structures in the area, like the Carreg Coetan Arthur, bare a similarity to Stonehenge, although lacking in the former's complexity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The People Who Built Stonehenge Came From Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 How does the de-radicalization process introduce an alternative masculinity to formers? Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Can White Supremacists Unlearn Hate?," 13 Apr. 2018 Kim and Cohen met while the former was an associate creative director at Vice; Cohen served as a casting director on one of Kim’s projects. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "A New Invite-Only Chinatown Dinner Party For Musicians Aims to Bring Back New York When It Used to Be Cool," 18 June 2018 The former are based on audited school district spending and enrollment figures; the latter are estimates based on a survey of state education departments. Betsy Hammond, OregonLive.com, "Oregon teacher salaries average $62K, above U.S. average," 25 Apr. 2018 His nonprofit takes a more compassionate approach than many other groups and governments, encouraging formers to share their stories and expand their social circles. Carla Power, latimes.com, "'We have four generations of former terrorists here today': Rehabilitating extremists in Indonesia," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'former.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of former

Adjective

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for former

Adjective

Middle English, from forme first, from Old English forma — more at foremost

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Statistics for former

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for former

The first known use of former was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for former

former

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of former

used to say what someone or something was in the past
: existing in the past

former

adjective
for·​mer | \ ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce former (audio) \

Kids Definition of former

: coming before in time a former president

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More from Merriam-Webster on former

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with former

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for former

Spanish Central: Translation of former

Nglish: Translation of former for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of former for Arabic Speakers

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