for·​mer·​ly ˈfȯr-mər-lē How to pronounce formerly (audio)
: at an earlier time : previously
obsolete : just before

Examples of formerly in a Sentence

He was formerly a congressman. the newspaper formerly known as “The Newsprint”
Recent Examples on the Web The most public work in the formerly complete collection is Wasserschlangen II by Gustav Klimt, acquired in Hong Kong and displayed in Vienna lasr year. Alexandra Bregman, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 And there are many more smaller firms that are transforming too, including those formerly serving all-important traditional automaking supply chains. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 Other officials in the region took to X, formerly Twitter, to mourn Brand’s death. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 The Office of the Governor of Hawaii posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that no tsunami is expected. Brandon Downs, CBS News, 9 Feb. 2024 Ozzy Osbourne is speaking out after Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, allegedly used a sample of his music without his approval. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2024 Elon Musk is betting big on transforming the struggling microblogging platform formerly known as Twitter into a profitable rival to China’s WeChat which acts as a one-stop hub catering to users’ daily needs. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024 The singer quickly addressed the blunder to the audience in a clip that has since made the rounds on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 9 Feb. 2024 Watch ‘Wonka’ on Prime Video Where to Stream Wonka Online Distributed by Warner Bros., Wonka is expected to stream on Max (formerly HBO Max) after its current theatrical run is over. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'formerly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of formerly was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near formerly

Cite this Entry

“Formerly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


for·​mer·​ly ˈfȯr-mər-lē How to pronounce formerly (audio)
: at an earlier time : previously

More from Merriam-Webster on formerly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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