form

noun
\ ˈfȯrm How to pronounce form (audio) \
plural forms

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

— see also take 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 -form (audio) \ noun
formable \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce -form (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 As the latest form of cryptocurrency to go mainstream, NFT has become the topic of conversation within just about every community and at the intersection of both luxury fashion and art, Moss is putting her own unique spin on the trend. Shelby Ying Hyde, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Moss Ventures into the NFT Art Market by Sharing Some of Her Most Intimate Moments," 13 Apr. 2021 True to streaming form, all eight episodes of the first season will drop on Peacock on May 6. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "How to Watch Girls5eva, the New Musical Comedy Series Executive Produced by Tina Fey," 13 Apr. 2021 Re-evaluations of the rule and legacy of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, who presided over the upheaval of the Great Leap Forward famine and the Cultural Revolution, are considered a particularly dangerous form of historical nihilism. Jane Li, Quartz, "China wants regular citizens to monitor online comments for “harmful” history," 13 Apr. 2021 On March 19, Paul Pelosi exercised call options and paid $1.95 million to buy 15,000 shares of Microsoft at a strike price of $130 each, according to a public disclosure form filed on April 9 with the House clerk. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Pelosi's husband purchased millions worth of Microsoft stock through options," 13 Apr. 2021 Almost three months into his term, Biden’s DHS is rounding into form. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Biden’s Homeland Security Is Just as Bad as Trump’s," 13 Apr. 2021 In March 2020, Garbade found the complaint form on the district website. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burlington schools failed to address 'racially hostile' environment, DPI finds," 13 Apr. 2021 The rule requires patients to pick up the single tablet of mifepristone at a hospital, clinic or medical office and sign a form that includes information about the medication’s potential risks. Matthew Perrone, ajc, "US agency says women can get abortion pill via mail," 13 Apr. 2021 The rule requires patients to pick up the single tablet of mifepristone at a hospital, clinic or medical office and sign a form that includes information about the medication’s potential risks. Matthew Perrone, Anchorage Daily News, "FDA says women can get abortion pill by mail during COVID-19 pandemic," 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For example, diabetics should be able to form a long-term relationship with a diabetes center. John C. Goodman, Forbes, "Mark Cuban’s Health Plan," 8 Apr. 2021 And be prepared to wait up to several months before all those COVID antibodies form. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Why your wait time between COVID vaccine doses may be different than your neighbor’s," 3 Apr. 2021 In addition to funding, entrepreneurs in the studio can be paired with other local professionals to form larger leadership teams and will have access to Great North Ventures' national network to expedite the product-to-market process. Nick Williams, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis venture fund launches new 'studio' to launch startups," 30 Mar. 2021 Organizations are also encouraged to form walk teams. Post-tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Community news," 26 Mar. 2021 No single party list of candidates has been able to form a governing majority in Israel’s 72-year history. Fox News, "Israel voting in elections as Netanyahu's fate is in the air," 24 Mar. 2021 This bloc is unlikely to ever be able to form a government together. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Israeli Elections Produce Another Stalemate over Benjamin Netanyahu," 24 Mar. 2021 No single party list of candidates has been able to form a governing majority in Israel’s history. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Israelis head to the polls in fourth election in 2 years," 23 Mar. 2021 While his Likud party holds the most seats in the Israeli Parliament, or Knesset -- Netanyahu has not been able to form a governing coalition without the support of several smaller religious parties. Hadas Gold, CNN, "Netanyahu credits himself with bringing Israel 'back to life.' Now he hopes his Covid-19 campaign will save his political future," 22 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for form

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for form

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Form.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/form. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on form

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