form

noun
\ ˈfȯrm How to pronounce form (audio) \

Definition of form

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material the building's massive form
b : a body (as of a person) especially in its external appearance or as distinguished from the face : figure the female form
c archaic : beauty
2 : the essential nature of a thing as distinguished from its matter: such as
b : the component of a thing that determines its kind
3a : 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
4 : a printed or typed document with blank spaces for insertion of required or requested information tax forms
5a(1) : conduct regulated by extraneous (see extraneous sense 1) 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
6a : the resting place or nest of a hare
b : a long seat : bench
7a : a supporting frame model of the human figure or part (such 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
8 : the printing type or other matter arranged and secured in a chase ready for printing
9a : 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
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
10a(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 sense 2c
d : a visible and measurable unit defined by a contour : a bounded surface or volume
11 : a grade in a British school or in some American private schools
12a(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

form

verb
formed; forming; forms

Definition of form (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2 : to give form or shape to : fashion, construct She formed the dough into balls.
3 : to serve to make up or constitute : be an essential or basic element of Bonds formed the bulk of his estate.
4 : develop, acquire form a habit
5 : to arrange in order : draw up The battalion was formed into squares for all-around defense.
6a : to assume an inflection so as to produce (a form, such as a tense) forms the past in -ed
b : to combine to make (a compound word) "motor" and "cycle" form "motorcycle"

intransitive verb

1 : to become formed or shaped A clot was forming over the cut.
2 : to take form : come into existence : arise Storm clouds were forming over the hills.
3 : to take on a definite form, shape, or arrangement the platoon formed in columns
form on
: to take up a formation next to
variants: or formo-

Definition of form- (Entry 3 of 4)

: formic acid formate

Definition of -form (Entry 4 of 4)

: in the form or shape of : resembling filiform

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Other Words from form

Verb

formability \ ˌfȯr-​mə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce formability (audio) \ noun
formable \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce formable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of form in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

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

Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. Alan Goch, sun-sentinel.com, "Events for Broward and Miami-Dade counties for July 10-16," 10 July 2019 That’s nearly 11 percent of all outstanding household debt, and second only to mortgages ($9 trillion) as a form of personal indebtedness. The Economist, "Smashed like avocados: how young people are treated by their elders," 10 July 2019 Many are making the most of new media, this time social media, in addition to the political talk shows and cable news town halls, to get their message across — a form of presidential campaigning that Perot helped popularize. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "How Ross Perot Changed Political Campaigns," 9 July 2019 Social users have begun using the hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot, suggesting a purchase from Home Depot is a form of Trump support. Troy L. Smith, cleveland.com, "Home Depot co-founder supports Trump and shoppers are furious," 9 July 2019 Nicole Crosby, chief deputy city attorney for strategic development, said petitioners are asked on a form to say why the GVRO is needed. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gun restraining orders paying off for City Attorney’s Office," 8 July 2019 Keller's Community Pregnancy Center has lost money for at least four years in a row, according to tax forms. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Conflict of interest? Butler County lawmaker says she won't vote on bill to help her nonprofit's donors," 8 July 2019 If occupying a female body is feeling out of control, then manically pursuing wellness is a form of adding control back into your life. Kalpana Mohanty, Teen Vogue, "Being Diagnosed With a Chronic Illness Taught Me That Health Isn't a Meritocracy," 5 July 2019 Gradually, more and more members of the community are flayed, and this season's Mind Flayer takes on an entirely different—and completely disgusting—form. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Stranger Things 3 Features the Show's Worst Monster Yet," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, sometime in the last 30 years, the glacier split in two parts, with the lower part eventually forming a lake bordered on one side by the Mendenhall Glacier. Author: Nolin Ainsworth, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists take to the air to study outburst floods of glacial basin near Juneau," 6 July 2019 These efforts testify to the sincerity and significance of valuable interests in forming families. Dov Fox, Vox, "The legal limbo of lost embryos," 3 July 2019 Before Apollo, scientists had several competing ideas for how the moon and other planetary satellites formed. Erica Jawin, Scientific American, "Apollo’s Bounty: The Science of the Moon Rocks," 2 July 2019 Previously, the repeating burst came from a small galaxy full of forming stars. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Fast radio burst came from galaxy 7.9 billion light-years away," 2 July 2019 As the city sees it, there are a number of advantages in forming a JPA over having San Diego establish a CCA by itself. San Diego Union-Tribune, "City of San Diego predicts community choice energy can beat SDG&E rates by 5% on customers’ bills," 30 June 2019 If leadership consists of–of forming a consensus around a divisive issue, this White House has divided us around a consensus issue. Time Staff, Time, "Here's What the Candidates Said During Thursday's Dramatic Democratic Presidential Debate," 29 June 2019 Acne can not only alter the state of your skin, but can also impair your self-esteem, cause depression, poor performance in school, and even prevent people from forming close relationships with other people. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "What Is Acne? What Causes Pimples and How to Treat Them," 27 June 2019 The group — comprising of Pimentel, 20, Colon, 18, Zabdiel De Jesus, 21, Christopher Velez, 23, and Richard Camacho, 22 — skyrocketed to stardom after being formed on La Banda, a competition TV show created by Simon Cowell and Ricky Martin in 2015. Tomás Mier, PEOPLE.com, "Boyband CNCO Dish on New Love Song and Maintaining Respect While Being Together 24 Hours a Day," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'form.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of form

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for form

Noun and Verb

Middle English forme, from Anglo-French furme, forme, from Latin forma form, beauty

Combining form

formic

Adjective combining form

French & Latin; French -forme, from Latin -formis, from forma

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Statistics for form

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for form

The first known use of form was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for form

form

noun

English Language Learners Definition of form

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

form

verb

English Language Learners Definition of form (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

form

noun
\ ˈfȯrm How to pronounce form (audio) \

Kids Definition of form

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : sort entry 1 sense 1, kind Coal is one form of carbon.
2 : the shape and structure of something We saw the bear's huge form.
3 : a printed sheet with blank spaces for information Fill out the form.
4 : a way of doing something There are different forms of worship.
5 : one of the different pronunciations, spellings, or inflections a word may have The plural form of “lady” is “ladies.”
6 : a mold in which concrete is placed to set

form

verb
formed; forming

Kids Definition of form (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give form or shape to Practice forming the letter R.
2 : develop sense 5 He formed good study habits.
3 : to come or bring together in making The students formed a line.
4 : to take shape : come into being Fog forms in the valleys. Ideas were forming in her mind.

form

noun
\ ˈfȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce form (audio) \

Medical Definition of form

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2 : a distinguishable group of organisms used especially to avoid taxonomic implications

Medical Definition of form (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give a particular shape to : shape or mold into a certain state or after a particular model

intransitive verb

: to become formed or shaped a clot formed over the cut

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form

noun

Legal Definition of form

1 : the structure of something (as a document) as distinguished from its matter a defect in form, not substance
2 : established procedure according to rule or practice — see also form of action
3 : a printed or typed document with blank spaces for insertion of required or requested information tax forms

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More from Merriam-Webster on form

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with form

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for form

Spanish Central: Translation of form

Nglish: Translation of form for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of form for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about form

Comments on form

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