[ fawr-mat ]
/ ˈfɔr mæt /
the shape and size of a book as determined by the number of times the original sheet has been folded to form the leaves.Compare duodecimo, folio (def. 2), octavo, quarto.
the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
the organization, plan, style, or type of something: The format of the show allowed for topical and controversial gags.
Computers. the arrangement of data for computer input or output, such as the number and size of fields in a record or the spacing and punctuation of information in a report.
verb (used with object), for·mat·ted, for·mat·ting.
to plan or provide a format for: to format the annual telethon.
- to set the format of (input or output): Some word-processing programs format output in a variety of ways.
- to prepare (a disk) for writing and reading.
verb (used without object), for·mat·ted, for·mat·ting.
to devise a format.
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Origin of format
1830–40; <French <Latin (liber) fōrmātus (a book) formed (in a certain way)
OTHER WORDS FROM formatfor·mat·ter, nounpre·for·mat, verb (used with object), pre·for·mat·ted, pre·for·mat·ting.re·for·mat, verb, re·for·mat·ted, re·for·mat·ting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for format
/ (ˈfɔːmæt) /
the general appearance of a publication, including type style, paper, binding, etc
an approximate indication of the size of a publication as determined by the number of times the original sheet of paper is folded to make a leafSee also duodecimo, quarto
style, plan, or arrangement, as of a television programme
- the defined arrangement of data encoded in a file or for example on magnetic disk or CD-ROM, essential for the correct recording and recovery of data on different devices
- the arrangement of text on printed output or a display screen, or a coded description of such an arrangement
verb -mats, -matting or -matted (tr)
to arrange (a book, page, etc) into a specified format
Word Origin for format
C19: via French from German, from Latin liber formātus volume formed
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
Scientific definitions for format
[ fôr′măt′ ]
The arrangement of data for storage or display.
To divide a disk into marked sectors so that it may store data.
To determine the arrangement of data for storage or display.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.