formeryoudaoicibaDictYouDict[former 词源字典]
former: [12] Former is a comparative form based on Middle English forme ‘first (in time or order)’, on the analogy of the superlative foremost [16] (which was originally formost [12]; 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’.
=> first, for, fore, primary[former etymology, former origin, 英语词源]
former (adj.)youdaoicibaDictYouDict
"earlier in time," mid-12c., comparative of forme "first, earliest in time or order," from Old English forma "first," from Proto-Germanic *fruma-, *furma-, from PIE *pre-mo-, suffixed (superlative) form of root *per- (1) "forward, through; before; first" (see per). Probably patterned on formest (see foremost); it is an unusual case of a comparative formed from a superlative (the Old English -m is a superlative suffix). As "first of two," 1580s.
former (n.)youdaoicibaDictYouDict
"one who gives form," mid-14c., agent noun from form (v.). The Latin agent noun was formator.