Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that forms; a maker or creator: a former of ideas.
  • n. A member of a school form: a fifth former.
  • adj. Occurring earlier in time.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or taking place in the past.
  • adj. Coming before in place or order; foregoing.
  • adj. Being the first of two mentioned.
  • adj. Having been in the past: a former ambassador.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. previous
  • adj. first of aforementioned two items. Used with the, often without a noun.
  • n. Someone who forms something.
  • n. An object used to form something.
  • n. Someone in, or of, a certain form (class).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Preceding in order of time; antecedent; previous; prior; earlier; hence, ancient; long past.
  • adj. Near the beginning; preceeding.
  • adj. Earlier, as between two things mentioned together; first mentioned.
  • n. One who forms; a maker; a creator.
  • n.
  • n. A shape around which an article is to be shaped, molded, woven wrapped, pasted, or otherwise constructed.
  • n. A templet, pattern, or gauge by which an article is shaped.
  • n. A cutting die.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being before in place; fore; first; foremost.
  • Being or happening before in time; preceding another or something else in order of time; prior.
  • Past; especially, long past; ancient.
  • Preceding or going before in a series; antecedent in order of thought, of action, etc.: specifically applied to the antecedent one of two things, or of two parts or divisions of anything.
  • Bygone.
  • n. A predecessor.
  • n. One who forms, fashions, creates, or makes; a creator.
  • n. Specifically, a pattern in or upon which anything is shaped, as a piece of wood used for shaping cartridges and gun-wads; any mechanism contributing to give shape to an article in process of manufacture.
  • n. One of a number of appliances and machines used in bending and shaping sheet-metal into tubes, cylinders, boxes, and other forms.
  • n. The templet used for the cutting of gear-teeth; the guide used for giving desired motion to the cutter when forming or cutting irregularly shaped pieces in a profiling-machine.
  • n. In electricity, a frame upon which the coils of certain types of armatures and transformers are wound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the first of two or the first mentioned of two
  • adj. (used especially of persons) of the immediate past
  • adj. belonging to the distant past
  • adj. referring to the first of two things or persons mentioned (or the earlier one or ones of several)
  • adj. belonging to some prior time

Etymologies

Middle English, comparative of forme, first, from Old English forma; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English former, comparative of forme ("first"), from Old English forma ("first"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Anterior, antiguo // Example: My former girlfriend (Mi ex-novia) // WordReference

    October 19, 2007

  • It's like a former athlete.

    February 1, 2007