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 Although labeled a young adult book, the complex points of view and social commentary will resonate with all ages in written form or audio book. Beth Py-lieberman, Smithsonian, "Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2019," 28 Nov. 2019 If playoff history holds form, three of those top four teams will reach the semifinals. BostonGlobe.com, "In each of the first five years of the playoff, three of the top four teams in the rankings heading into rivalry weekend reached the semifinals, including the No. 1 team every time.," 27 Nov. 2019 The proxy form details Google's $2 billion bid for the company and urges shareholders to vote in favor of the deal. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Without Apple, AirPods Would Just Be Another Loser," 27 Nov. 2019 How to donate to Season for Sharing There are four ways to donate: Fill out the online form at sharing.azcentral.com. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "Mesa nonprofit provides shelter, programs for families looking to start over," 27 Nov. 2019 One form of pollution is thermal pollution, Whittie said. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Havre de Grace set to begin third phase of stormwater management project," 27 Nov. 2019 Turner also confirmed that the concrete was poured upon a temporary floor, or temporary form work system, made of wood and other materials. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Missing worker in building collapse was checking for 'stress' below concrete, fire chief says," 27 Nov. 2019 The new statewide magnet school to be located in Huntsville is asking interested students to fill out an inquiry form. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "Alabama cyber school is seeking potential students," 26 Nov. 2019 Locally, there's also REDgen, a Milwaukee-area nonprofit that helps schools in southeast Wisconsin form student mental health groups. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After two suicides in six weeks, Greenfield students and parents demand more help for bullied students," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The York finding’s precision and closeness to the 2010 figure suggest a consensus forming around the lower value for the proton radius. Dan Falk, Scientific American, "Ultraprecise Measurement Pinpoints the Proton’s Size," 28 Nov. 2019 The passport week was organized by members of each municipality in Carroll County, forming a group called Carroll County Downtown, as a way for each city and town to support local businesses in and out of their town. Akira Kyles, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "'Passport’ program aims to support small businesses throughout Carroll County in holiday shopping season," 28 Nov. 2019 These accounts usually act together, with some of them tweeting propaganda or disinformation, and others agreeing and retweeting, forming an inauthentic discourse around them to attract attention and draw real people into the online discussion. Christopher Torres-lugo, The Conversation, "You can join the effort to expose Twitter bots," 27 Nov. 2019 The boys were at the age when their sperm cells — the vessels that would transmit their genetic material — were forming. Judith Finlayson, chicagotribune.com, "Men’s lifestyles can affect babies’ health," 27 Nov. 2019 The rapidly forming storm packing 100 miles per hour wind gusts walloped Oregon. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "Snow and rain disrupts Thanksgiving travelers across the country," 27 Nov. 2019 Her schoolwork has focused on forming her brand identity and design skills. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This Milwaukee native has designed clothes for Arianna Grande, Halsey and Solange even before finishing school," 25 Nov. 2019 In the late 1980s, Arnault built up a large stake in LVMH, which had recently been formed from the merger of Moet Hennessy and Louis Vuitton. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "This French Billionaire Is Closing in on Title of ‘World’s Richest Man’ Following the Tiffany Takeover," 25 Nov. 2019 Long lines formed at polling centers in the morning, snaking around skyscrapers and past small shops. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Hong Kong Election Results Give Democracy Backers Big Win," 24 Nov. 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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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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Form.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forms. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

Comments on form

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