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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for formerly


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of formerly in a Sentence

He was formerly a congressman. the newspaper formerly known as “The Newsprint”
Recent Examples on the Web Other Alaskans to qualify for the marathon trials are Anna Dalton of Anchorage and Keri McEntee of Fairbanks in the women’s race and Aaron Fletcher of Anchorage and Tony Tomsich, formerly of Fairbanks and Anchorage, in the men’s race. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska runner could become first openly transgender athlete in US Olympic marathon trials," 13 Feb. 2020 The Chuggin’ Monk, formerly LG Taps, is at 3619 Greenville Ave., Dallas. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "The Chuggin’ Monk stumbles onto Greenville Avenue in Dallas — into a familiar spot," 13 Feb. 2020 Hope Hicks, formerly President Donald Trump's most trusted and longest serving aide, is expected to return to the administration in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News. John Santucci And, ABC News, "Hope Hicks returning to Trump White House as senior adviser," 13 Feb. 2020 Like many Carnival traditions in formerly French territories, Cajun Mardi Gras focuses on merry mischief-making. National Geographic, "Here’s Mardi Gras like you’ve never seen it," 12 Feb. 2020 The professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) offers digital training to help employees recognize the signs that a colleague is struggling and connect them to company resources. Mandy Oaklander, Time, "How Companies Teach Their Employees First Aid for Mental Health," 12 Feb. 2020 They were all formerly animal viruses but crossed over to infect people before the existence of viruses was recognized. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Understanding pandemics: What they mean, don’t mean, and what comes next with the coronavirus," 12 Feb. 2020 But in 3 years’ time, its output will be dwarfed by that of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (VRO, formerly the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) in Chile. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Big telescopes join hunt for things that go flash in the night," 12 Feb. 2020 On April 14, Megan Rapinoe and her teammates will play Brazil at the Earthquakes Stadium in San Jose (formerly Avaya Stadium). Ann Killion,, "U.S. women’s soccer team to play in Bay Area before Olympics," 12 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of formerly

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about formerly

Time Traveler for formerly

Time Traveler

The first known use of formerly was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Statistics for formerly

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Formerly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for formerly


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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on formerly

What made you want to look up formerly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!