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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the past, that has taken the form of invite-only parties, but this year, Jablonski wanted to get everyone involved. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Jacquelyn Jablonski and Autism Tomorrow Toast a Charitable Collaboration With Apotheke," 16 Apr. 2019 Rooke has a theory about what form this photo will take. Glamour, "Why We Probably Won't See Photos of Meghan Markle's Baby After She Gives Birth," 10 Apr. 2019 The project comes in the form of A Space for Being, an interactive installation spearheaded by Google VP of Hardware Design, UX, and Research Ivy Ross. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Google Proves How Good Design Impacts Your Health and Mood," 10 Apr. 2019 What seems more likely, if Brienne did in fact kill Stannis at the end of Season 5, is that his Season 8 appearance will take the form of a flashback or weird Bran vision quest moment or something. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Stannis Baratheon Is Returning to 'Game of Thrones' in Season 8, According to Stephen Dillane's Wikipedia Page," 6 Apr. 2019 The acts are narrated by the chorus of townspeople, who tell the story of the boy who is killed at a protest that takes the form of a puppet show, which immediately establishes theater as a space for dissent. Sarah Neilson, The Seattle Times, "Ilya Kaminsky’s ‘Deaf Republic’ challenges and incites," 29 Mar. 2019 During the 1980s, drug prevention took the form of the ubiquitous slogan popularized by Nancy Reagan: Just Say No. David Sheff, WSJ, "Teens Need the Truth About Drugs," 7 Mar. 2019 As Game of Thrones Season 8 slowly makes its return, its prequel spin-off show is also taking form. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Prequel Announces Eight More Stars and a Director," 8 Jan. 2019 Streamline experience, which usually takes the form of easy returns, communicative customer service, and a navigable and shoppable website. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The rise of the direct-to-consumer home," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Look for a fit that forms a seal in your ear canal. Jim Rossman, The Seattle Times, "Tech review: Simgot in-ear monitors offer great sound and a great price," 13 Apr. 2019 Finally, six villages are connected to form a city housing up to 10,000 residents. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Is Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels the Real-Life Lost Continent of Atlantis?," 12 Apr. 2019 But the truth is, sometimes the cracks that form after a parent's death are too deep to fix. Sarah Chaves, Glamour, "This Is Us Gets So Many Things Right—But I Think It Takes the Easy Route With Grief," 2 Apr. 2019 Lionel was with The Commodores in the 1960s and 1970s, a group that formed as undergrads at Tuskegee University. Marie Milano, Country Living, "A Detailed Timeline of Lionel Richie's Marriages and Relationships," 3 Mar. 2019 Roughly the size of Singapore, the lake occupies a caldera formed 26,500 years ago, when the Taupo supervolcano exploded in the most violent eruption on earth in the past, oh, 70,000 years. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "We Should All Just Move to New Zealand," 17 Jan. 2019 Add cookies to food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "100+ Easy Dessert Recipes," 15 Jan. 2019 Republicans plan to make three complaints that could form the basis for a recount. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Pennsylvania special election may see recount; Lamb, Saccone separated by razor-thin margin," 2 Oct. 2018 In response to the petition for Dex Frier to be nominated for prom king, a counter-petition was formed. Sophie Siegel, Teen Vogue, "Georgia Teen Said His School Won't Let Him Run for Prom King Because He's Transgender," 22 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about form

Statistics for form

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for form

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up form? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!