Meaning of former

former




Former refers to something that came at an earlier time, or before something else. For example, someone who believes in reincarnation might wonder about their former life — or even lives — before their present existence.

When something or someone has changed, we can refer to them as former. For example, Mr. Smith’s ex-wife could be known as the former Mrs. Smith. We could consider almost anything as former, as long as it comes first, before something else. A good way to remember the meaning of former is to consider that it comes from the Old English forma, which means “first,” and that both former and first begin with “f.”

Definitions of former
  1. noun

    the first of two or the first mentioned of two

    “Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the
    former is remembered today”
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    Antonyms:

    latter

    the second of two or the second mentioned of two
    type of:

    first, number one

    the first or highest in an ordering or series

  2. adjective

    referring to the first of two things or persons mentioned (or the earlier one or ones of several)

    “I prefer the
    former version to the latter one”
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    Antonyms:

    latter

    referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned (or the last one or ones of several)
    last mentioned

    the one most recently mentioned
    show more antonyms…

  3. adjective

    (used especially of persons) of the immediate past

    “the
    former president”
    synonyms:

    late, previous

    past

    earlier than the present time; no longer current
  4. adjective

    belonging to some prior time

    “our
    former glory”
    synonyms:

    erstwhile, old, one-time, onetime, quondam, sometime

    past

    earlier than the present time; no longer current
  5. adjective

    belonging to the distant past

    former generations”
    synonyms:

    early, other

    past

    earlier than the present time; no longer current

Word Family

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