There are 2 definitions of former in English:

former1

Line breaks: for¦mer
Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːmə
 
/

adjective

[attributive]
  • 2 (the former) Denoting the first or first mentioned of two people or things: I take the former view [as noun]: the powers of the former are more comprehensive than those of the latter
    More example sentences
    • Aquinas leans in the direction of the former view, but realizes that the latter could in fact be the case.
    • The left take precisely the opposite view, condemning the former assault but applauding the latter.
    • The essence of the former view can be presented as follows.
    Synonyms
    first-mentioned, first

Origin

Middle English: from Old English forma (see foremost) + -er2.

Usage

Traditionally, former and latter are used in relation to pairs of items: either the first of two items (former) or the second of two items (latter). The reason for this is that former and latter were formed as comparatives, and comparatives are correctly used with reference to just two things, while a superlative is used where there are more than two things. So, for example, strictly speaking one should say the longest of the three books but the longer of the two books . In practice, former and latter are now sometimes used just as synonyms for first and last and are routinely used to refer to a contrast involving more than two items. Such uses, however, are not acceptable in good English style.

More definitions of former

Definition of former in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space

There are 2 definitions of former in English:

former2

Line breaks: form¦er
Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːmə
 
/

noun

  • 1A person or thing that forms something: [in combination]: an opinion-former
    More example sentences
    • He was speaking in Dublin at the Bord Bia European Meat Forum, attended by more than 170 beef buyers from major European retail groups, along with international opinion formers and media representatives.
    • Another step will be to host familiarisation trips (known in the trade as ‘fam trips’) to bring opinion formers such as journalists to visit the city and by so doing to build a positive image for it.
    • Note too that blog readerships are dominated not simply by affluent ABs, but by other significant opinion formers: politicians, academics and broadcasters.
  • 1.1A tool, mould, or other device used to form articles or shape materials: an arch former
    More example sentences
    • Future capital expenditures are earmarked for installation of automatic ice cream freezers, case formers and material handling at the Henderson plant.
    • The sheets are drawn over shaped formers to the extent that they deform plastically and assume the required profiles.
    • The surfaces of the formers have different shapes and are used to impart these shapes to the forgings.
  • 1.2A transverse strengthening part in an aircraft wing or fuselage.
    More example sentences
    • The prototype aircraft was powered by a Wright R - 975 Whirlwind of 420-hp and the fuselage was constructed of steel tubing with wood and metal formers and wooden stringers.
    • In that configuration, the computerized mechanism will weld the formers and stringers to the three separate fuselage sections laid out on jigs under the moving gantry.
    • Around the basic tube fuselage, Gordon added wooden stringers and formers to give the unit its desired shape.
  • 1.3A frame or core around which an electrical coil can be wound.
  • 2 [in combination] British A person in a particular school year: fifth-formers

More definitions of former

Definition of former in: