When you are comparing two things, the first one is known as the former and the second as the latter. For example, George Bush and George W. Bush were both U. S. presidents. The latter was the son of the former.

The word latter is really a form of later meaning "more recent" or "that which came after." The latter recording of a band refers to the one made more recently. It also can refer to a later time, near the end. If someone is in the latter stages of a disease, the disease has just about run its course and the person is about to die.

Definitions of latter

n the second of two or the second mentioned of two

“Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the latter is remembered today”
the first of two or the first mentioned of two
Type of:
following the first in an ordering or series

adj referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned (or the last one or ones of several)

“in the latter case”
last mentioned
the one most recently mentioned
referring to the first of two things or persons mentioned (or the earlier one or ones of several)

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