external appearance of a clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material; configuration: a triangular form.
the shape of a thing or person.
a body, especially that of a human being.
a dummy having the same measurements as a human body, used for fitting or displaying clothing: a dressmaker's form.
something that gives or determines shape; a mold.
a particular condition, character, or mode in which something appears: water in the form of ice.
the manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result, as in literary or musical composition: a unique form for the novel.
the organization, placement, or relationship of basic elements, as lines and colors in a painting or volumes and voids in a sculpture, so as to produce a coherent image; the formal structure of a work of art.
three-dimensional quality or volume, as of a represented object or anatomical part.
an object, person, or part of the human body or the appearance of any of these, especially as seen in nature: His work is characterized by the radical distortion of the human form.
any assemblage of things of a similar kind constituting a component of a group, especially of a zoological group.
Crystallography. the combination of all the like faces possible on a crystal of given symmetry.
due or proper shape; orderly arrangement of parts; good order.
the structure, pattern, organization, or essential nature of anything.
structure or pattern as distinguished from matter.
(initial capital letter)Platonism. idea (def. 7c).
Aristotelianism. that which places a thing in its particular species or kind.
Logic. the abstract relations of terms in a proposition, and of propositions to one another.
a set, prescribed, or customary order or method of doing something.
a set order of words, as for use in religious ritual or in a legal document: a form for initiating new members.
a document with blank spaces to be filled in with particulars before it is executed: a tax form.
a typical document to be used as a guide in framing others for like cases: a form for a deed.
a conventional method of procedure or behavior: society's forms.
a formality or ceremony, often with implication of absence of real meaning: to go through the outward forms of a religious wedding.
procedure according to a set order or method.
procedure or conduct, as judged by social standards: Such behavior is very bad form.Good form demands that we go.
manner or method of performing something; technique: The violin soloist displayed tremendous form.
physical condition or fitness, as for performing: a tennis player in peak form.
a word, part of a word, or group of words forming a construction that recurs in various contexts in a language with relatively constant meaning.: Compare linguistic form.
a particular shape of such a form that occurs in more than one shape. In I'm, 'm is a form of am.
a word with a particular inflectional ending or other modification. Goes is a form of go.
Linguistics. the shape or pattern of a word or other construction (distinguished from substance).
Building Trades. temporary boarding or sheeting of plywood or metal for giving a desired shape to poured concrete, rammed earth, etc.
a grade or class of pupils in a British secondary school or in certain U.S. private schools: boys in the fourth form.
British. a bench or long seat.
British Informal. a criminal record: She didn't want to believe that her own mother had form.
Also British, forme. Printing. an assemblage of types, leads, etc., secured in a chase to print from.
to construct or frame.
to make or produce.
to frame (ideas, opinions, etc.) in the mind.
to contract or develop (habits, friendships, etc.).
to give a particular form or shape to; fashion in a particular manner: Form the dough into squares.
to mold or develop by discipline or instructions: The sergeant's job was to form boys into men.
to make (a derivation) by some grammatical change: The suffix “-ly” forms adverbs from adjectives.
to have (a grammatical feature) represented in a particular shape: English forms plurals in “-s”.
Military. to draw up in lines or in formation.
to take or assume form.
to be formed or produced: Ice began to form on the window.
to take a particular form or arrangement: The ice formed in patches across the window.
- form·a·ble, adjective
- form·a·bly, adverb
- half-formed, adjective
- mis·form, verb
- mis·formed, adjective
- non·form, noun
- non·form·ing, adjective
- o·ver·formed, adjective
- self-formed, adjective
- sem·i·formed, adjective
- sub·form, noun
- un·der·form, noun
- form , forum
Other definitions for -form (2 of 2)
a combining form meaning “having the form of”: cruciform.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use form in a sentence
The same Pediatrics journal notes that 17 states have some form of exception to the standard parental consent requirement.
I mean, physically, mentally, you know, in every way, shape, and form.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 | Vicky Ward | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
And with regular clients that see him at least twice a month, relationships inevitably form.Career-Minded Women Turn to Male Escorts For No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex | Aurora Snow | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
I ask Atefeh and Monir if they see dancing as a form of income in the future, a potential career.Iran’s Becoming a Footloose Nation as Dance Lessons Spread | IranWire | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But probably because we co-edited the Deadline Artists anthologies with our friend Jesse Angelo, we feel a fidelity to the form.
Practise gliding in the form of inflection, or slide, from one extreme of pitch to another.Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
The supernaturalist alleges that religion was revealed to man by God, and that the form of this revelation is a sacred book.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
Arches more graceful in form, or better fitted to defy the assaults of time, I have never seen.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
As company after company appeared, we were able to form a pretty exact estimate of their numbers.
And remember it is by our hypothesis the best possible form and arrangement of that lesson.The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
British Dictionary definitions for form (1 of 3)
the shape or configuration of something as distinct from its colour, texture, etc
the particular mode, appearance, etc, in which a thing or person manifests itself: water in the form of ice; in the form of a bat
a type or kind: imprisonment is a form of punishment
a printed document, esp one with spaces in which to insert facts or answers: an application form
(as modifier): a form letter
physical or mental condition, esp good condition, with reference to ability to perform: off form
the previous record of a horse, athlete, etc, esp with regard to fitness
British slang a criminal record
style, arrangement, or design in the arts, as opposed to content
a fixed mode of artistic expression or representation in literary, musical, or other artistic works: sonata form; sonnet form
a mould, frame, etc, that gives shape to something
organized structure or order, as in an artistic work
education, mainly British a group of children who are taught together; class
manner, method, or style of doing something, esp with regard to recognized standards
behaviour or procedure, esp as governed by custom or etiquette: good form
formality or ceremony
a prescribed set or order of words, terms, etc, as in a religious ceremony or legal document
the structure of anything as opposed to its constitution or content
essence as opposed to matter
(often capital) (in the philosophy of Plato) the ideal universal that exists independently of the particulars which fall under it: See also Form
(in the philosophy of Aristotle) the constitution of matter to form a substance; by virtue of this its nature can be understood
See logical form
British a bench, esp one that is long, low, and backless
the nest or hollow in which a hare lives
a group of organisms within a species that differ from similar groups by trivial differences, as of colour
the phonological or orthographic shape or appearance of a linguistic element, such as a word
a linguistic element considered from the point of view of its shape or sound rather than, for example, its meaning
crystallog See crystal form
taxonomy a group distinguished from other groups by a single characteristic: ranked below a variety
to give shape or form to or to take shape or form, esp a specified or particular shape
to come or bring into existence: a scum formed on the surface
to make, produce, or construct or be made, produced, or constructed
to construct or develop in the mind: to form an opinion
(tr) to train, develop, or mould by instruction, discipline, or example
(tr) to acquire, contract, or develop: to form a habit
(tr) to be an element of, serve as, or constitute: this plank will form a bridge
(tr) to draw up; organize: to form a club
- formable, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for Form (2 of 3)
(in the philosophy of Plato) an ideal archetype existing independently of those individuals which fall under it, supposedly explaining their common properties and serving as the only objects of true knowledge as opposed to the mere opinion obtainable of matters of fact: Also called: Idea
British Dictionary definitions for -form (3 of 3)
having the shape or form of or resembling: cruciform; vermiform
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with form
In addition to the idiom beginning with form
- form an opinion
- run to form
- true to form
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.