From Middle English, variation of ferne (“old, long ago, distant, past”), from Old English fyrn (“former, ancient”), from Proto-Germanic *furnaz, *fernaz, *firnijaz (“old, former”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“next, of, out, through”). More at fern.
- (obsolete) Former.
- The Camel's hous; whiche it is saied that a certain king / In forne yeares, when he had on a drumedarie camele escaped the handes of his enemies, builded there. ― J. Udall.
- absolute definite natural masculine form of forn.