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

Firpo caught the attention of Valverde due to his impressive form last term for La Liga side Real Betis, with the Spaniard - who cost Barca an initial €18m - featuring 29 times in all competitions last season. SI.com, "Barcelona: Rating All of La Blaugrana's 2019 Summer Signings," 4 Sep. 2019 In its idealized form, one could see this new project resembling a right-wing version of MMFA or CNN’s K-File, which has a similar, albeit nonpartisan, pedigree. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Boundless Grift of Right-Wing Media Watchdogs," 4 Sep. 2019 The 2016 first-team All Pro is back and looking to return to his previous form. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These former Wisconsin Badgers are all on NFL rosters as the season nears its kickoff," 3 Sep. 2019 Bugatti’s new champion is a pre-production prototype of a special edition of the $3 million Chiron, which in its base form is electronically limited to 261 mph and goes from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. Wired, "Bugatti's Chiron Clocks 305 MPH Thanks to Top-Notch Tires," 3 Sep. 2019 New signing Daniel James continued his fine individual form with his third goal in four games, firing a stunning first-half strike into the top corner. Matias Grez, CNN, "Liverpool maintains perfect start to the season to stay top of Premier League," 31 Aug. 2019 The power of water in all its various majestic forms, in locations around the globe, is on display in this visually and sonically captivating documentary A 90-minute documentary on water? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Aquarela’ proves how to make an exciting documentary about water," 30 Aug. 2019 For example, the evolution of the solar system, in its idealized form, unfolds exactly according to the rules of gravity. Quanta Magazine, "A Mathematician Whose Only Constant Is Change," 27 Aug. 2019 Even in its circular form, though, the PPHA was initially not quite stable enough for a long haul. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "Disappearing Plastics Stay Strong in the Shadows and Melt Away in the Sun," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The earliest minerals were formed by condensation from solar gases at high temperatures. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Could This New Mineral Be From a Destroyed Planet’s Core?," 4 Sep. 2019 The Grenadiers have a historical association with Bruges, after being established when a Royal regiment was formed by King Charles II in the city in 1656. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Andrew’s Royal Duties Hit by Fallout from Scandal Surrounding Former Friend Jeffrey Epstein," 4 Sep. 2019 September 5 Look towards the southern sky for an eye-catching celestial triangle this evening, formed by the first-quarter moon, Jupiter, and the 550 light-year distant star Antares. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "See Neptune at its best and more top stargazing in September," 1 Sep. 2019 Wong and Chow, both 22, are members of Demosisto, a group formed by Wong and others in 2016 to advocate self-determination for Hong Kong. Ken Moritsugu, chicagotribune.com, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, Saturday protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019 Since 2001, Bryan and his colleagues have studied pumice rafts formed by three separate underwater volcanic events. Denise Chow, NBC News, "Massive raft of volcanic rock is drifting toward Australia. That could be good news.," 30 Aug. 2019 According to The Hill, the initiative began after Organizing for Action, which is a group formed by former Obama aides collaborated with the National Redistricting Action Fund, which was founded by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Barack Obama Is Taking On Partisan Gerrymandering," 27 Aug. 2019 Each 15-foot orb weighs 2 tons and was formed by a hydroform process that uses water pressure to create the shape, a process popular in auto manufacturing. Sam Whiting, SFChronicle.com, "Famed Danish artist premieres huge outdoor work at Chase Center," 24 Aug. 2019 There's even talk of an 'anti-Juventus alliance' being formed by a number of Serie A sides to prevent that from happening, but Inter may ultimately have no choice but to do business with Italy's dominant force. SI.com, "Mauro Icardi: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up," 21 Aug. 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

7 Sep 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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