WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
for•mer1 /ˈfɔrmɚ/USA pronunciation   adj. [before a noun]
  1. preceding in time;
    prior or earlier:We had met on a former occasion.
  2. being the first mentioned of two (distinguished from latter ):The former suggestion was better than the latter.
  3. having once or previously been;
    erstwhile:They welcomed the former president.

n. [uncountable;  the + ~]
  1. the one first mentioned:We have two dogs, a collie and a beagle; the former is the older.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
for•mer1  (fôrmər),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. preceding in time;
    prior or earlier:during a former stage in the proceedings.
  2. past, long past, or ancient:in former times.
  3. preceding in order;
    being the first of two:Our former manufacturing process was too costly.
  4. being the first mentioned of two (distinguished from latter):The former suggestion was preferred to the latter.
  5. having once, or previously, been;
    erstwhile:a former president.
  • Middle English, equivalent. to forme (Old English forma first) + -er -er4. Cf. foremost 1125–75
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged foregoing, antecedent.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged past, ex-.

form•er2  (fôrmər),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a person or thing that forms or serves to form.
  2. British Terms, Educationa pupil in a particular form or grade, esp. in a British secondary school:fifth formers.
  • Middle English fourmer. See form, -er1 1300–50

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

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
  1. the formerthe first or first mentioned of two: distinguished from latter
former /ˈfɔːmə/ n
  1. a person or thing that forms or shapes
  2. 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

'former' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [according, made reference] to the former, the former [champion, president, ambassador] (of), [prefer, choose, select] the former, more...

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