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

Because a tariff is essentially passed on to consumers—people who live in districts represented by the whole of the political spectrum—in the form of higher prices. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "President Trump Appears to Kick the 25 Percent Auto Tariff Can down the Road," 15 May 2019 Delivery of the credit comes in the form of a digital gift card. Alaina Yee, PCWorld, "The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are already priced to move, but here's how to get them even cheaper," 8 May 2019 In the case of this lavish portrait—and my own dressing for work this morning—that little something can come in the form of a pearl drop earring. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Will These Pearl Earrings Make You Look Like a Renaissance Painting?," 25 Mar. 2019 If your weld training is formal and under the auspices of a union, nonunion construction organization, or technical school, some form of certification will be part of your training. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019 The form of depression, also known as SAD, is a recurrent major depressive disorder that involves episodes of depression at the same season each year. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "8 Ways to Feel Happier at Home When Winter’s Bringing You Down," 15 Feb. 2019 Manufacturers say newer forms are safer and don’t remain in the human body as long as older types. Michael Casey, The Seattle Times, "EPA decision soon on chemical compounds tied to health risks," 12 Feb. 2019 While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of getting a massage, this form of self-care may be helpful for anxiety, depression, and headaches, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 Like the dams, levees, and reservoirs tested and built using the old model, this is another form of human control over the river. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two of them came together to form Saint Ivory and have already released their first EP together. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "8 Facts About Avan Jogia That Will Make You Swoon," 7 May 2019 Gradually, your new world will fill up with dancing silhouettes and animals, which all coalesce to form a main hieroglyph that will unlock a portal to space. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Childish Gambino’s Pharos AR app unlocks a hidden universe of battery-draining beats and beasts," 24 Apr. 2019 Companies including Microsoft, Facebook and Axon, a maker of police body cameras, have formed AI ethics boards and Google published a set of more-general AI principles in June. Dina Bass, The Seattle Times, "Privacy groups urge tech firms to sign Safe Face Pledge to restrict use of facial recognition," 12 Dec. 2018 Since the collision, this material has formed a spherical shell that's expanding outward from the site where the collision took place. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Neutron-star merger blasted a jet of material through the debris," 5 Sep. 2018 The European Union and China have reportedly formed an alliance to combat any measure taken by the U.S. that could undermine the Paris agreement, and other nations have renewed their commitment to battling climate change. Susmita Baral, Teen Vogue, "Trump and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Explained," 2 Aug. 2018 Squeeze your glutes and abs and push through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Amy Marturana, SELF, "8 Strength Exercises All Beginners Should Learn How to Do," 2 May 2019 More evidence surfaced in season 7—specifically the fact that a Reddit genius noticed the White Walker army formed the profile of a wolf—which happens to be the Stark Sigil—while strolling past the wall. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "These Weird White Walker Symbols Might Be Hints About Bran Becoming the Night King," 26 Apr. 2019 When something upsets this basic balance, gallstones — including the type most commonly seen in pregnancy, known as lipid or cholesterol-laden stones — can form. Kate Wehr, Good Housekeeping, "Gallstones Are the Pregnancy Complication No One Warned Me About," 18 Apr. 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

18 May 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

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