for|mer1 W1S2 [ˈfo:mə US ˈfo:rmər] adj [only before noun]
[Date: 1100-1200; Origin: forme 'first' (12-16 centuries), from Old English forma]
1.) happening or existing before, but not now
→↑present, previous ↑previous
the former Soviet Union
Their farm has been reduced to half its former size.
2.) having a particular position in the past
= ↑ex-
my former husband
former president Clinton
3.) in former times/years
in the past
4.) sb/sth's former self
what someone or something was like before they were changed by age, illness, trouble etc
She seems more like her former self.
be a shadow/ghost of your former self
(=be much less confident, healthy, energetic etc than you used to be)
The team's a shadow of its former self.
former 2
former2 n
1.) the former
formal the first of two people or things that you have just mentioned
≠ ↑the latter
Of the two possibilities, the former seems more likely.
2.) first/second/sixth etc former
BrE used in some schools to show which class a student is in, according to how many years they have been in school

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.