General English

  • adjective referring to a person’s or a thing’s job or position at an earlier time

General Science

  • adjective referring to the first of two things mentioned earlier


  • noun a light secondary structure of the airframe which gives improved shape

Cars & Driving

  • noun a shaped wooden block for use in panel beating, on which a desired shape is produced by hammering

Origin & History of “former”

Former is a comparative form based on middle English forme ‘first (in time or order)’, on the analogy of the superlative foremost (16th c.) (which was originally formost (12th c.); the modern spelling came about through association with fore and most). Forme itself goes back to Old English forma, which was a descendant of a prehistoric Germanic superlative from derived from *fora ‘before’ (whence also English first, for, and fore). So untangling the suffixal accretions of centuries, former means etymologically ‘more most before’.