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 ?
Planchet, who was still a little concerned for his safety after his recent escapade, declared that he would follow D'Artagnan even to the end of the world, either by the road to the right or by that to the left; only he begged his former master to set out in the evening, for greater security to himself.
Grant to resume his walk, and followed himself in silence, The agitation of the divine caused him to move with unusual rapidity along the deep path, and the Indian, without any apparent exertion, kept an equal pace; but the young hunter observed the female to linger in her steps, until a trifling distance intervened between the two former and the latter.
As a rule, not only did the members of my race entertain no feelings of bitterness against the whites before and during the war, but there are many instances of Negroes tenderly carrying for their former masters and mistresses who for some reason have become poor and dependent since the war.
The most sagacious and laborious naturalists have never yet succeeded in tracing with certainty the line which separates the district of vegetable life from the neighboring region of unorganized matter, or which marks the ermination of the former and the commencement of the animal empire.
The degree of dissimilarity will depend on the migration of the more dominant forms of life from one region into another having been effected with more or less ease, at periods more or less remote;--on the nature and number of the former immigrants;--and on their action and reaction, in their mutual struggles for life;--the relation of organism to organism being, as I have already often remarked, the most important of all relations.
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.
And we can never hope to see realized in practice, the complete separation of the judicial from the legislative power, in any system which leaves the former dependent for pecuniary resources on the occasional grants of the latter.
After that journey to Ryazan he found the country dull; his former pursuits no longer interested him, and often when sitting alone in his study he got up, went to the mirror, and gazed a long time at his own face.
At times Maggie told Pete long confidential tales of her former home life, dwelling upon the escapades of the other members of the family and the difficulties she had to combat in order to obtain a degree of comfort.
of the former and contains nearly an equal volume of carbonic acid, produced by the combustion of the elements of the blood.
A dialogue between Mesdames Bridget and Deborah; containing more amusement, but less instruction, than the former.
The feeling she now experienced for him seemed to her stronger than any of her former feelings.