Basic+ Word of the Day: former

former (adjective, noun) LISTEN

His former girlfriend moved out.

Former means ‘having been in the past.’

  • Eric's former boss is now working for another company.
  • Thomas's former school is hosting his class reunion.

Former also means ‘being the first of two mentioned.’ (The second is the latter).

  • The former choice was better than the latter.

Common uses

a shell of his/her former self: someone who has changed for the worse, usually because of a traumatic experience. Example: “After the war, Scarlett was a shell of her former self.”

Did you know?

Ex– is a more casual way to say former. For example: “Dan’s ex-wife is the mother of his oldest daughter.” And when referring to a former spouse or partner, someone may just say ex. For example: “Oh no! There’s my ex. We need to leave immediately.”

In pop culture

The five former presidents of the US spoke at a charity concert to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. You can hear Bill Clinton and Barack Obama speak in this video.

There are other meanings of former.

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