for·​mer·​ly | \ ˈfȯr-mər-lē How to pronounce formerly (audio) , ˈfȯr-mə- \

Definition of formerly

1 : at an earlier time : previously
2 obsolete : just before

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Synonyms for formerly


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Examples of formerly in a Sentence

He was formerly a congressman. the newspaper formerly known as “The Newsprint”
Recent Examples on the Web The broader task, as Rivera sees it, is to instill new habits of response among the formerly incarcerated. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "What Makes the Difference Between Getting Out of Prison and Staying Out?," 9 Nov. 2020 California approved Proposition 17, a ballot measure that aims to restore formerly incarcerated people's rights to vote. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Election Stress Disorder Is A Thing — Here’s How To Cope," 5 Nov. 2020 The nonprofit, which became a 501c3 in March 2019, focuses on providing resources to formerly incarcerated people. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "Community advocate and entrepreneur opens new high-end furniture store in Royal Oak," 17 Oct. 2020 Atkinson lives in North Carolina, where a court ruling this month expanded voting rights to formerly incarcerated people. Caitlin Huey-burns And Tyler Kendall, CBS News, "Formerly incarcerated face financial obstacles to voting in some states," 24 Sep. 2020 Holder asked states to remove laws that barred felons from voting and asked district attorneys to assign a reentry counselor to their district to help formerly incarcerated people adjust to life outside of prison. Brinley Hineman, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Obama administration implemented several police and prison reforms," 22 Sep. 2020 The Washington, DC, non-profit Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop helps current and formerly incarcerated people develop literacy skills through book clubs and writing workshops. Lauren Lee, CNN, "How you can stir up some 'good trouble' through causes John Lewis supported," 19 Sep. 2020 Reuben has spent the past 15 years working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Can America move beyond mass incarceration? (audio)," 14 Sep. 2020 Because of licensing, firefighting is just one of many out-of-reach professions for the formerly incarcerated. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Inmate firefighters — let them keep doing this vital job," 3 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formerly.' 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 formerly

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for formerly

Time Traveler

The first known use of formerly was in 1534

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Statistics for formerly

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Formerly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce formerly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of formerly

: at an earlier time : in the past


for·​mer·​ly | \ ˈfȯr-mər-lē How to pronounce formerly (audio) \

Kids Definition of formerly

: at an earlier time They were formerly friends.

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