noun \ˈfrm\

: a type or kind of something

: one of several or many different ways in which something is seen, experienced, or produced

: the shape of something

Full Definition of FORM

a :  the shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material
b :  a body (as of a person) especially in its external appearance or as distinguished from the face :  figure
c archaic :  beauty
:  the essential nature of a thing as distinguished from its matter: as
a :  idea 1a
b :  the component of a thing that determines its kind
a :  established method of expression or proceeding :  procedure according to rule or rote; also :  a standard or expectation based on past experience :  precedent <true to form, the champions won again>
b :  a prescribed and set order of words :  formula <the form of the marriage service>
:  a printed or typed document with blank spaces for insertion of required or requested information <tax forms>
a (1) :  conduct regulated by extraneous controls (as of custom or etiquette) :  ceremony (2) :  show without substance
b :  manner or conduct as tested by a prescribed or accepted standard <rudeness is simply bad form>
c :  manner or style of performing or accomplishing according to recognized standards of technique <a strong swimmer but weak on form>
a :  the resting place or nest of a hare
b :  a long seat :  bench
a :  a supporting frame model of the human figure or part (as the torso) of the human figure usually used for displaying apparel
b :  a proportioned and often adjustable model for fitting clothes
c :  a mold in which concrete is placed to set
:  the printing type or other matter arranged and secured in a chase ready for printing
a :  one of the different modes of existence, action, or manifestation of a particular thing or substance :  kind <one form of respiratory disorder> <a form of art>
b :  a distinguishable group of organisms
c :  linguistic form
d :  one of the different aspects a word may take as a result of inflection or change of spelling or pronunciation <verbal forms>
e :  a mathematical expression of a particular type <a bilinear form> <a polynomial form>
a (1) :  orderly method of arrangement (as in the presentation of ideas) :  manner of coordinating elements (as of an artistic production or course of reasoning) (2) :  a particular kind or instance of such arrangement <the sonnet is a poetical form>
b :  pattern, schema <arguments of the same logical form>
c :  the structural element, plan, or design of a work of art — compare content 2c
d :  a visible and measurable unit defined by a contour :  a bounded surface or volume
:  a grade in a British school or in some American private schools
a (1) :  the past performance of a race horse (2) :  racing form
b :  known ability to perform <a singer at the top of her form>
c :  condition suitable for performing (as in athletic competition) <back on form>

Examples of FORM

  1. Coal is a form of carbon.
  2. a rare form of cancer
  3. a popular form of entertainment
  4. an ancient form of music
  5. the written form of the language
  6. a style of architecture that emphasizes form over function
  7. The shadowy forms of several people were visible through the smoke.

Origin of FORM

Middle English forme, from Anglo-French furme, forme, from Latin forma form, beauty
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with FORM



: to cause (something) to have a particular shape or form

: to get, create, or develop (something) over a period of time

: to begin to exist or to be seen

Full Definition of FORM

transitive verb
a :  to give a particular shape to :  shape or mold into a certain state or after a particular model <form the dough into a ball> <a state formed along republican lines>
b :  to arrange themselves in <the dancers formed a line>
c :  to model by instruction and discipline <a mind formed by classical education>
:  to give form or shape to :  fashion, construct
:  to serve to make up or constitute :  be an essential or basic element of
:  develop, acquire <form a habit>
:  to arrange in order :  draw up
a :  to assume an inflection so as to produce (as a tense) <forms the past in -ed>
b :  to combine to make (a compound word)
intransitive verb
:  to become formed or shaped
:  to take form :  come into existence :  arise
:  to take on a definite form, shape, or arrangement
form·abil·i·ty \ˌfr-mə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
form·able \ˈfr-mə-bəl\ adjective
form on
:  to take up a formation next to

Examples of FORM

  1. The friendship that they formed in school lasted a lifetime.
  2. Her early experiences played an important role in forming her personality.
  3. His ideas were not yet fully formed.
  4. The drug can help prevent blood clots from forming.
  5. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead.
  6. A plan was gradually forming in my mind.
  7. A plan was gradually forming itself in my mind.
  8. An angry crowd was forming in the streets.

First Known Use of FORM

13th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle the active, determining principle of a thing. The term was traditionally used to translate Plato's eidos, by which he meant the permanent reality that makes a thing what it is, in contrast to the particulars that are finite and subject to change. Each form is the pattern of a particular category of thing in the world; thus, there are forms of human, stone, shape, colour, beauty, and justice. Whereas the physical world, perceived with the senses, is in constant flux and knowledge derived from it restricted and variable, the realm of forms, apprehensible only by the mind, is eternal and changeless. Particular things derive what reality they have by “participating” in, or imperfectly copying, the forms. Aristotle rejected the abstract Platonic notion of form and argued that every sensible object consists of both matter and form, neither of which can exist without the other. For Aristotle, the matter of a thing consists of those of its elements which, when the thing has come into being, may be said to have “become” it; the form of a thing is the arrangement or organization through which such elements have become the thing in question. Thus a certain lump of bronze is the matter that, given a certain form, becomes a statue or, given another, becomes a sword. The Aristotelian concept of form was adapted and developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and other scholastic philosophers. The Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant used the notion of form to describe the mentally imposed conditions of sensible experience, namely space and time.


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