From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [1]

Ri'shôn ( רִאשֹׁן , Strong'S #7223), “former; chief; first.” This word comes from a common Semitic root that also yields ro’sh (“head”) and ri'shit (“beginning”). Ri'shôn , which appears 182 times (first in Gen. 8:13), is well represented throughout the entire Old Testament, with the exception of the poetic books and the minor prophets. The basic meaning of ri'shôn is “first” in a series. The word is the antonym of ’acharon—(“last”). On the one hand, ri'shôn may refer to the “first month” (Exod. 40:2), the “first day” (Exod. 12:15), the “former temple” (Ezra 3:12)or the “firstborn” (Gen. 25:25ff.).

On the other hand, the word may denote the “most prominent” in a series. Thus God is “the first” as well as “the last”: “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he” (Isa. 41:4). The most prominent people at a banquet sat in the “first place” (Esth. 1:14). The use of ri'shôn with “father” in “Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me” (Isa. 43:27) expresses how Israel’s beginnings started with sin and rebellion. A

s a reference to time, ri'shôn signifies what has been—i.e., the “former.” This usage appears in phrases meaning a “former position” (Gen. 40:13) and a “deceased husband” (Hos. 2:7). The “prophets of the past” (Zech. 1:4) and “ancestors” (Lev. 26:45) are both best understood as expressions referring to the past. The prophetic phrase “former days” (unlike “latter days”) expresses Israel’s past sin and God’s judgment on Israel: “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 42:9).

The Septuagint translations are: proteros (“earlier; former; superior”), protos (“first; earlier; earliest”), emprosthen (“ahead; in front”), arche (“beginning; first cause; ruler; rule”). The KJV gives these translations: “first; former; before; beginning.”

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Πρῶτος (Strong'S #4413 — Adjective — protos — pro'-tos )

"first," is translated "former" in  Acts 1:1 , of Luke's first treatise; in  Revelation 21:4 , RV, "first" (AV, "former"). See Before , First.

2: Πρότερος (Strong'S #4387 — Adjective — proteros — prot'-er-os )

"before, former," is translated "former" in  Ephesians 4:22;  Hebrews 10:32;  1—Peter 1:14 . See Before.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( n.) A cutting die.

(2): ( n.) One who forms; a maker; a creator.

(3): ( n.) A shape around which an article is to be shaped, molded, woven wrapped, pasted, or otherwise constructed.

(4): ( n.) A templet, pattern, or gauge by which an article is shaped.

(5): ( a.) Earlier, as between two things mentioned together; first mentioned.

(6): ( a.) Preceding in order of time; antecedent; previous; prior; earlier; hence, ancient; long past.

(7): ( a.) Near the beginning; preceeding; as, the former part of a discourse or argument.

King James Dictionary [4]

FORM'ER, n. He that forms a maker an author.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [5]

fôr´mẽr  : The word in the sense of "maker," "framer," occurs only in  Jeremiah 51:19 , "He is the former (from yācar , "to form") of all things." The adjective, in the sense of preceding in the order of time, is commonly in Hob the translation of rı̄'shōn , "first," "foremost" ( Genesis 40:13;  Numbers 21:26;  Deuteronomy 24:4 , etc.); in Greek of próteros ( Ephesians 4:22;  Hebrews 10:32;  1 Peter 1:14 ); and in two cases ( Acts 1:1;  Revelation 21:4 ) of prō̇tos , where the Revised Version (British and American) has (in Acts in the margin) "the first." As denoting place or position the word occurs in the Old Testament in  Zechariah 14:8 , "the former sea" as translation of , ḳadhmōnı̄ , "in front," where the Revised Version (British and American) has "eastern," i.e. the Dead Sea, in contrast with the Mediterranean, or western sea (compare  Ezekiel 47:18;  Joel 2:20 ). For "former iniquities" ( Psalm 79:8 ) the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "the iniquities"; Other changes may be seen in  Numbers 6:12;  Isaiah 65:7;  Ezekiel 36:11;  Micah 4:8;  Haggai 2:3 .