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

Instead, proof could arrive in the form of very distinct spectroscopic features—particularly an absorption line at 450 nanometers within the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Water on Europa—with a Pinch of Salt," 12 June 2019 In 2010, cancer returned in an unrelated form, this time in her thyroid. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Gabriele Grunewald, national running champion and Gophers star, dies at 32," 11 June 2019 The Liber represents Europe’s first recorded instance of these number-forms, and of the concept of zero. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Whose Crusade Is it Anyway?," 11 June 2019 The law also calls for the use and maintenance of donor consent forms, an identification system for bodies and body parts, and the documentation and disclosure of the disease status of human tissue samples. Stephanie Innes, AZCentral.com, "Despite 2-year-old state law, Arizona's body donation industry still unregulated," 10 June 2019 D’jatarya Powell, a prospective film major who considers film and journalism the most prominent forms of art, received $300 toward her studies. Vincent Andrunas, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Encouraging journalism students," 10 June 2019 Hailey Bieber Is Finally Wearing A Wedding Band Gomez has possibly hinted at some of her emotions through what’s maybe her favorite form of communication: music. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Apparently Selena Gomez Is Ready To Delete Justin Bieber From Her Life (Or Instagram)," 10 June 2019 Note 31 reads, To lose the possibility of recognizing 2 similar objects—2 colors, 2 laces, 2 hats, 2 forms whatsoever—to reach the Impossibility of sufficient visual memory, to transfer from one like object to another the Memory imprint. Lewis Hyde, Harper's magazine, "Ars Oblivionalis," 10 June 2019 However, the streaming service has a steep road ahead of it, as other short-form video efforts have largely fizzled, like Verizon’s Go90. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Quibi cofounders reveal pricing and launch date for the short-form streaming service," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The origins of the habit-forming street food – meat shaved from a shawarma-style vertical spit with fresh salad fixings and garlicky sauce stuffed between soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside pita -- are disputed. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Balkan House in Hamtramck is metro Detroit's only spot for German-style doner kebab," 13 June 2019 When God first created the world, the birds were formed without wings. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, "Limitation can be a conduit to freedom," 12 June 2019 The 1,200-mile-wide crater was formed when some large space rock with a heavy metal core smashed into the lunar surface billions of years ago, as Maya Wei-Haas at National Geographic describes. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Astronomers Make Massive Discovery on the Far Side of the Moon," 12 June 2019 The front was formed, researchers say, by elements of the military after the 1998 fall of dictator Suharto as a tool for attacking liberal trends in a country newly embracing democracy. Washington Post, "When disaster hits, Indonesia’s Islamists are first to help," 11 June 2019 State records show Brady Ventures was formed in October 2011, a year before video gambling in Illinois went live. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "Illinois Video Gambling Tax Hike Will Be Decided by Lawmakers With Financial Ties to the Industry," 10 June 2019 In 1928, the Himalayan Club was formed by senior British members of the colonial government. Ipsita Chakravarty, Quartz India, "How colonialism cost the Himalayas their remoteness," 10 June 2019 The move will put an end to the Mobile Arc brand, which was first formed 63 years ago in 1956 under the name GARC. John Sharp | Jsharp@al.com, al.com, "Mobile Arc merging with AltaPointe," 10 June 2019 Allied forces have engaged at least two German motorized divisions — one of them Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s 21st Division, beaten by Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery in North Africa and later re-formed. Wes Gallagher, Houston Chronicle, "YANKS TAKE TOWN NEAR CHERBOURG," 9 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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Learn More about form

Dictionary Entries near form

for luck

-form

form-

form

forma

formably

formagen

Statistics for form

Last Updated

15 Jun 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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