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
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 Academics expect the results from the latest census, forms for which are due to land in mailboxes by March 20th, to fit the same pattern. The Economist, "Little gay house on the prairie Rural, gay Americans have more children," 21 Mar. 2020 But Kudlow cautioned that the idea was just one of many, and that the ultimate form of the coronavirus stimulus legislation would depend on what emerged from negotiations with Congress. Justin Sink, Fortune, "U.S. may take equity stake in companies that get coronavirus aid, White House advisor Kudlow says," 19 Mar. 2020 Pearl has not yet learned to be mistrustful of the illusory softness of families like Elena’s, leaving her vulnerable to the subtlest forms of exploitation. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "The Brilliant Fault Lines of Little Fires Everywhere," 19 Mar. 2020 Licenses can be purchased online at cuyahogadogs.com or through the mail by printing a form from the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer’s website, fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Tri-C student named a National Coca-Cola scholar: Strong Points," 19 Mar. 2020 Unlike a man in a suicide vest, a virus isn’t an extreme rarity but a natural, ordinary life form. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Threat Scarier than Anthrax Attacks or Suicide Bombers," 18 Mar. 2020 It was issued in bean form because war profiteers were fond of mixing dirt into ground coffee, so Billy Yank got to roast and grind his own. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "Six of the Strangest Guns Ever Made," 18 Mar. 2020 To request an absentee ballot online or to download a form to mail in, visit https://myvote.wi.gov and go to absentee ballot on the far right top of the website. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Four candidates square off for two seats on the Menomonee Falls School Board," 18 Mar. 2020 There's also coronavirus-related information and forms here. Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Coronavirus: Ohio jobless claims soar as businesses cut back or close," 18 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wildlife Rehab and Education: WR&E was formed to meet the increasing need for wildlife assistance. Jan Burns |, Houston Chronicle, "Want to volunteer? Houston has a range of options," 20 Mar. 2020 Now the team hopes the mole can get on with measuring heat under the surface of the planet, providing information that will help scientists work out how Mars, and all rocky planets, were formed. Jack Guy, CNN, "NASA fixes Mars lander by hitting it with a shovel," 19 Mar. 2020 The private Facebook group was formed last year to protest the IAFF’s official endorsement of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax," 17 Mar. 2020 Alabama, which was originally formed in 1831 as a military school, was a natural fit for an SATC site, and by the early fall of 1918 the campus was a virtual Army camp. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Shut down college football in state of Alabama? It’s happened twice before," 15 Mar. 2020 Myelin insulation is formed by layers of cell membrane wrapped around axons like electrical tape. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 The company was formed a year ago with former MGM head Gary Barber and Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Scream' Reboot to Be Directed by 'Ready or Not' Filmmakers (Exclusive)," 12 Mar. 2020 Local health departments in the US were formed in response to local needs as early as the late 18th century, decades before federal public health agencies were established. Popular Science, "Who’s responsible for containing COVID-19?," 11 Mar. 2020 The actual qubit is formed from a very small number of atoms—just two in Honeywell's case. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New entry in commercial quantum computing, using entirely different tech," 3 Mar. 2020

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

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Form.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/form. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for form

form

noun
How to pronounce -form (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for form

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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