1. [ adjective ] 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"

Related terms: latter
2. [ adjective ] belonging to some prior time
Synonyms: once onetime quondam sometime erstwhile

"erstwhile friend" "our former glory" "the once capital of the state" "her quondam lover"

Related terms: past
3. [ adjective ] (used especially of persons) of to the immediate past
Synonyms: previous late

"the former president" "our late President is still very active" "the previous occupant of the White House"

Related terms: past
4. [ adjective ] of the distant past
Synonyms: early other

"the early inhabitants of Europe" "former generations" "in other times"

Related terms: past
5. [ noun ] the first of two or the first mentioned of two

"Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the former is remembered today"

Related terms: latter first
Similar spelling:   formerly