the first of two or the first mentioned of two
"Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the former is remembered today"
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"
erstwhile(a), former(a), old, onetime(a), one-time(a), quondam(a), sometime(a)(adj)
belonging to some prior time
"erstwhile friend"; "our former glory"; "the once capital of the state"; "her quondam lover"
former(a), late(a), previous(a)(adj)
(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"
early(a), former(a), other(a)(adj)
belonging to the distant past
"the early inhabitants of Europe"; "former generations"; "in other times"
Someone who forms something.
Dave was the former of the company.
An object used to form something.
The brick arch was built using a wooden former.
Someone in, or of, a certain form (class).
first of aforementioned two items. Used with the, often without a noun.
The former is a good idea but the latter is not.
Origin: From former, comparative of forme, from forma.
one who forms; a maker; a creator
a shape around which an article is to be shaped, molded, woven wrapped, pasted, or otherwise constructed
a templet, pattern, or gauge by which an article is shaped
a cutting die
preceding in order of time; antecedent; previous; prior; earlier; hence, ancient; long past
near the beginning; preceeding; as, the former part of a discourse or argument
earlier, as between two things mentioned together; first mentioned
A former is a structural member of an aircraft fuselage, of which a typical fuselage has a series from the nose to the empennage, typically perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. The primary purpose of formers is to establish the shape of the fuselage and reduce the column length of stringers to prevent instability. Formers are typically attached to longerons, which support the skin of the aircraft. The Former-and-Longeron technique was adopted from boat construction, and was typical of light aircraft built until the advent of structural skins such as fiberglass and other composite materials. Many of today's light aircraft, and homebuilt aircraft in particular, are still designed in this way. They are also found in the cores of potentiometers in which the resistive material is wrapped round.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
form′ėr, adj. (comp. of fore) before in time or order: past: first mentioned.—adv. Form′erly, in former times: heretofore. [Formed late on analogy of M. E. formest by adding comp. suff. -er to base of A.S. forma, first, itself a superlative form.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'former' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #532
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'former' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2720
The numerical value of former in Chaldean Numerology is: 1
The numerical value of former in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
There's nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility is being superior to your former self.
Anecdotes and maxims are rich treasures to the man of the world, for he knows how to introduce the former at fit place in conversation.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
There are two modes of establishing our reputation to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the former, because it will invariably be accompanied by the latter.
Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.
Images & Illustrations of former
Translations for former
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- бивш, предишен, миналBulgarian
- previCatalan, Valencian
- primero, aquello, antiguo, aquella, primera, anterior, exSpanish
- اولی, اسبق, قدیم, سابقPersian
- edellinen, edeltävä, ensimmäinen, entinenFinnish
- précédent, ancien, celui-là, premierFrench
- korábbi, egykori, előbbi, előző, hajdaniHungarian
- terdahulu, mantanIndonesian
- anteriore, precedente, primo, exItalian
- 前者, 前Japanese
- წინანდელი, უწინდელიGeorgian
- پێشو, بهرترKurdish
- deze, eerstgenoemde, voormaligDutch
- پخوانیPashto, Pushto
- anterior, primeiroPortuguese
- первый, предыдущий, прежний, бывшийRussian
- bivši, prethodniSerbo-Croatian
- föregående, forna, före dettaSwedish
- ముందరి, మునుపటిTelugu
- önceki, önce, eski, ilkTurkish
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