Definition for FOR'MER

FOR'MER, a. [comp. deg. Sax. form, forma, but it is rendered primus, first. The Saxon word seems to be composed of fore and ma, more; but of this I am not confident.]

  1. Before in time; preceding another or something else in order of time; opposed to latter. Her farmer husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled. Deut. xxiv. The former and the latter rain. Jer. v.
  2. Past, and frequently ancient, long past. For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age. Job viii.
  3. Near the beginning; preceding; as, the former part of a discourse or argument.
  4. Mentioned before another. A bad author deserves better usage than a bad critic; a man may be the former merely through the misfortune of want of judgment; but he can not be the latter without both that and an ill temper. Pope.

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