form

noun
\ ˈfȯrm \

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 \ noun
formable \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl \ 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

This year and last, Shiffrin surprised Bettoni with birthday wishes in the form of video messages. Eric Willemsen, The Seattle Times, "‘Like an angel’: Shiffrin inspired by cancer survivor," 4 Feb. 2019 The thin form factor only allows for flash memory, but Intel’s plans for Optane include everything from gaming PCs on down. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's Optane Memory H10 marries super-fast Optane and SSD storage on one M.2 card," 9 Jan. 2019 Maybe Zombie Palm will stick around and take another swing at the tiny-phone form factor. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Palm Phone Review: Fun, endearing, and bad at everything," 1 Dec. 2018 Some version of the original Pi—probably the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, the most advanced version of the initial form factor—is likely to remain in production well into the future, alongside the new freakishly small and cheap Zero models. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Newest $25 Raspberry Pi Is the End of an Era," 15 Nov. 2018 There was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “I Never Worked for Russia!”," 20 Jan. 2019 In 2011, the Justice Department backed away from its interpretation, deciding that the prohibition was only on online sports betting, not other forms of online gambling. Alexandra Berzon, WSJ, "Justice Department’s Reversal on Online Gambling Tracked Memo From Adelson Lobbyists," 18 Jan. 2019 But there are also gangs and other forms of conflicts that are happening that people do not often count. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "10 Interesting Facts About Malala Yousafzai from Her New Book “We Are Displaced”," 10 Jan. 2019 In fact, lots of parallels can be drawn between Malta's system and other forms of energy storage. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Using molten salt to store electricity isn’t just for solar thermal plants," 24 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most models of the Thwaites glacier don’t take into account rapid cavern forming, so the entire glacier is likely to be melting much faster than our predictions estimate. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Found a Giant Underground Cavern in Antarctica Almost the Size of Manhattan," 31 Jan. 2019 Several organizations, led by Magnolia residents, formed to support the rebuild option. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 This healthy meal delivery service also has a wide range of meal plans for so many different lifestyles form gluten-free to family carnivore. Glamour, "The 11 Best Healthy Food Delivery Services When You Just Can't With Grocery Shopping," 2 Jan. 2019 Bigger worlds like Neptune or Uranus ultimately form internal engines, where materials deep inside the objects reshape under the forces of pressure and heat over millions of years. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 Remove bowl from saucepan and continue to whisk on medium speed until thick, glossy peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "7-Minute Frosting," 11 Dec. 2018 Tribes have formed and dogmas have been formulated. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 Mexico must pass new labor laws for the trade deal to go into effect As part of USMCA, Mexico has promised to pass laws that will guarantee workers the right to form unions and negotiate their own labor contracts. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Trump’s new trade deal is better for workers than NAFTA was," 30 Nov. 2018 The episode also adds a father and a son (played by Bridges’ actual father, Lloyd, and son, Dylan), who form their own special relationship in his absence — reinforcing the story’s theme of how role models shape those who look up to them. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Before Game of Thrones and Nightflyers, George R.R. Martin’s work inspired a great Outer Limits episode," 30 Nov. 2018

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

9 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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