former


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form·er 1

 (fôr′mər)
n.
1. One that forms; a maker or creator: a former of ideas.
2. A member of a school form: a fifth former.

for·mer 2

 (fôr′mər)
adj.
1. Relating to or taking place in the past: in former times.
2. Having been so in the past: a former ambassador; his former boss.
3. Being the first of two mentioned.
n.
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).

[Middle English, comparative of forme, first, from Old English forma; see per in Indo-European roots.]

former

(ˈfɔːmə)
adj (prenominal)
1. belonging to or occurring in an earlier time: former glory.
2. having been at a previous time: a former colleague.
3. denoting the first or first mentioned of two: in the former case.
4. near the beginning
n
the former the first or first mentioned of two: distinguished from latter

former

(ˈfɔːmə)
n
1. a person or thing that forms or shapes
2. (Electrical Engineering) electrical engineering a tool for giving a coil or winding the required shape, sometimes consisting of a frame on which the wire can be wound, the frame then being removed

for•mer1

(ˈfɔr mər)

adj.
1. preceding in time; prior or earlier: on a former occasion.
2. past, long past, or ancient: in former times.
3. being the first mentioned of two (disting. from latter).
4. having once or previously been; erstwhile: a former president.
[1125–75; Middle English]

form•er2

(ˈfɔr mər)

n.
1. a person or thing that forms or serves to form.
2. a pupil in a particular form or class.
[1300–50]

former

late
1. 'former'

You use former in front of a noun to indicate that the person you are talking about is no longer the thing referred to by the noun. For example, the former chairman of a company used to be the chairman, but is not the chairman now.

...former President Gerald Ford.
...William Nickerson, a former Treasury official.
2. 'late'

You use late in front of a name or noun to indicate that the person you are talking about has recently died.

...the late Mr Parkin.
I'd like to talk to you about your late husband.

latter

former

The latter should only be used to refer to the second of two things or people which have already been mentioned.

Given the choice between working for someone else and working for the family business, she'd prefer the latter.

You use the former to talk about the first of two things already mentioned.

These two firms are in direct competition, with the former trying to cut costs and increase profits.

If you are talking about three or more things or people, don't use 'the latter' or 'the former'. Use an expression with the last or the first.

The company has three branches, in Birmingham, Plymouth, and Greenock. The last of these will close next year.

If you are mentioning things for the first time, don't use 'the former' or 'the latter'. Use the first or the second.

There will be two matches next week. The first will be in Brighton, and the second in London.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.former - the first of two or the first mentioned of twoformer - the first of two or the first mentioned of two; "Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the former is remembered today"
first, number one - the first or highest in an ordering or series; "He wanted to be the first"
latter - the second of two or the second mentioned of two; "Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the latter is remembered today"
Adj.1.former - referring to the first of two things or persons mentioned (or the earlier one or ones of several); "the novel was made into a film in 1943 and again in 1967; I prefer the former version to the latter one"
latter - referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned (or the last one or ones of several); "in the latter case"
2.former - belonging to some prior time; "erstwhile friend"; "our former glory"; "the once capital of the state"; "her quondam lover"
past - earlier than the present time; no longer current; "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year"
3.former - (used especially of persons) of the immediate past; "the former president"; "our late President is still very active"; "the previous occupant of the White House"
past - earlier than the present time; no longer current; "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year"
4.former - belonging to the distant past; "the early inhabitants of Europe"; "former generations"; "in other times"
past - earlier than the present time; no longer current; "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year"

former

adjective
1. previous, one-time, erstwhile, ex-, late, earlier, prior, sometime, foregoing, antecedent, anterior, quondam, whilom (archaic), ci-devant (French) He pleaded not guilty to murdering his former wife.
previous coming, following, future, current, succeeding, latter, subsequent, ensuing
2. past, earlier, long ago, bygone, old, ancient, departed, old-time, long gone, of yore Remember him as he was in former years.
past future, present, current, modern, present-day
3. aforementioned, above, first mentioned, aforesaid, preceding, foregoing Most people can be forgiven for choosing the former.

former

adjective
2. Having been such previously:
Translations
سَابِقسابِق
bývalýdřívější
tidligere
entinenedellinenedeltävä
bivši
korábbiegykorielőbbielőzőhajdani
fyrri
以前の
전의
ankstyvesnis
agrākaisbijušais
nekdanjiprejšnji
föregående
ก่อนหน้านี้
người tiền nhiệm

former

[ˈfɔːməʳ]
A. ADJ
1. (= earlier, previous) → antiguo; [chairman, wife etc] → ex
a former pupilun antiguo alumno
in former daysantiguamente
the former presidentel ex-presidente OLD
2. (of two) → primero
your former idea was bettertu primera idea fue mejor
B. PRON night and day, the former dark, the latter lightla noche y el día, aquélla oscura y éste lleno de luz

former

[ˈfɔːrr]
adj (before n)ancien(ne)
a former pupil → un ancien élève
the former Prime Minister → l'ancien Premier ministre
the former president → l'ex-président
the former Yugoslavia → l'ex-Yougoslavie
the former Soviet Union → l'ex-Union soviétique
in former times → autrefois
in former years → par le passé
n
the former ... the latter → le premier ... le second, celui-là ... celui-ci

former

adj
(= previous) president, chairman, employee etcfrüher, ehemalig; home, prison, school, hospital etcehemalig; country, place, strength, authority etcfrüher; times, years, daysvergangen; former President Richard Nixonder frühere or ehemalige Präsident Richard Nixon; his former wifeseine Exfrau; her former husbandihr Exmann m; the radicals of former daysdie Radikalen der Vergangenheit; in former years or times or daysin früheren Zeiten
(as opposed to latter) the former option/alternative etcdie erstere Möglichkeit/Alternative etc
n the formerder/die/das erstere; (more than one) → die ersteren pl; of these two theories I prefer the formervon diesen beiden Theorien ziehe ich (die) erstere vor

former

[ˈfɔːməʳ]
1. adj
a. (earlier, previous) → vecchio/a (before n), precedente; (chairman, wife) → ex inv (before n)
in former days → nei tempi passati, in altri tempi
the former president → l'ex presidente
the former Yugoslavia/Soviet Union → l'ex Jugoslavia/Unione Sovietica
b. (of two) → primo/a
2. pron the former ( ...the latter)il/la primo/a (... l'ultimo/a), quello/a... (questo/a)

former

(ˈfoːmə) adjective
of an earlier time. In former times people did not travel so much.
ˈformerly adverb
in earlier times. Formerly this large town was a small village.
the former
the first of two things mentioned. We visited America and Australia, staying longer in the former than in the latter.

former

سَابِق bývalý tidligere ehemalig πρώην antiguo entinen ancien bivši ex 以前の 전의 voormalig foregående poprzedni anterior бывший föregående ก่อนหน้านี้ eski người tiền nhiệm 以前的

former

adj ex; — smoker ex fumador -ra mf
References in classic literature ?
Meg couldn't refuse the offer so kindly made, for a desire to see if she would be `a little beauty' after touching up caused her to accept and forget all her former uncomfortable feelings toward the Moffats.
For a year he had been devot- ing all of his odd moments to the reading of books and now some tale he had read concerning fife in old world towns of the middle ages came sharply back to his mind so that he stumbled forward with the curious feeling of one revisiting a place that had been a part of some former existence.
There was something about a former school chum who was also to be at Myra's house--Myra is Mary's cousin you know.
He painted and papered her rooms for her that spring, and put in a porcelain bathtub in place of the tin one that had satisfied the former tenant.
In former times, before Robert could remember, "the house" had been a summer luxury of the Lebruns.
Climate may have had great influence on the former, but it is difficult to see how it can have produced the substantial difference which exists in the latter.
If any one part of their proceedings can be said to deserve less blame than another, it was the singular indiscrimination with which they persecuted, not merely the poor and aged, as in former judicial massacres, but people of all ranks; their own equals, brethren, and wives.
I feel as if I had parted from my former self -- as if the hopes once so dear to me had all gone back to some past time from which I am now far removed.
The antagonist of Grantmesnil, instead of bearing his lance-point fair against the crest or the shield of his enemy, swerved so much from the direct line as to break the weapon athwart the person of his opponent a circumstance which was accounted more disgraceful than that of being actually unhorsed; because the latter might happen from accident, whereas the former evinced awkwardness and want of management of the weapon and of the horse.
An absolute or qualified negative in the executive upon the acts of the legislative body, is admitted, by the ablest adepts in political science, to be an indispensable barrier against the encroachments of the latter upon the former.
Still continuing no less attached to union than enamored of liberty, they observed the danger which immediately threatened the former and more remotely the latter; and being pursuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, they as with one voice, convened the late convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under consideration.
I remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy, applying to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter.