former

1 [fawr-mer]
adjective
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.

Origin:
1125–75; Middle English, equivalent to forme (Old English forma first) + -er -er4. Cf. foremost


3. foregoing, antecedent. 5. past, ex-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

former

2 [fawr-mer]
noun
1.
a person or thing that forms or serves to form.
2.
a pupil in a particular form or grade, especially in a British secondary school: fifth formers.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English fourmer. See form, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
former1 (ˈfɔːmə)
 
adj
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
5.  the former the first or first mentioned of two: distinguished from latter

former2 (ˈfɔːmə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that forms or shapes
2.  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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

former
"earlier in time," c.1160, comparative of forme "first," patterned on formest "foremost" (see foremost). An unusual case of a comparative formed from a superlative (the -m- is a superlative element; the word was formed on the analogy of foremost).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Former football player committed to promoting all sports.
Words from our former senior editor for photography.
How the latter can tell us more about our origins than the former.
Former students play catch up with their former teachers and professors.
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