- for|mer1 [ `fɔrmər ] function word ***Former can be used in the following ways:as an adjective (only before a noun):She still visits her former husband.as a pronoun (after the ):Given the choice between rose pink and olive green, I'd choose the former every time.1. ) used for describing someone or something that had a particular job, title, status, etc. in the past, but not now:The ceremony honored all the former presidents who are still living.the former Soviet UnionHe abandoned his former career as a geologist.2. ) FORMAL used for referring to times in the past:Marble pillars and high painted ceilings remain from former times.be a shadow/ghost of your former selfto be much less healthy or successful, or to be in much worse condition than beforethe former FORMALused for referring to the first of two people or things that you have mentioned. Use the latter to refer to the second person or thing:Both Williams and Andrews claim the property. The former insists that it was a gift.formerfor|mer 2 [ `fɔrmər ] nounfirst/second/third, etc. former BRITISH OLD-FASHIONEDa student in the first/second/third etc. year of SECONDARY school
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.