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form Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something
    descriptor; word form; signifier.
    • the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached
  2. noun a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality
    sort; kind; variety.
    • sculpture is a form of art
    • what kinds of desserts are there?
  3. noun a perceptual structure
    pattern; shape.
    • the composition presents problems for students of musical form
    • a visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them
  4. noun any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)
    shape; configuration; contour; conformation.
    • he could barely make out their shapes
  5. noun alternative names for the body of a human being
    figure; flesh; soma; frame; physique; material body; anatomy; shape; chassis; build; human body; physical body; bod.
    • Leonardo studied the human body
    • he has a strong physique
    • the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
  6. noun the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance
    • geometry is the mathematical science of shape
  7. noun the visual appearance of something or someone
    cast; shape.
    • the delicate cast of his features
  8. noun a printed document with spaces in which to write
    • he filled out his tax form
  9. noun (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups
    strain; var.; variant.
    • a new strain of microorganisms
  10. noun an arrangement of the elements in a composition or discourse
    • the essay was in the form of a dialogue
    • he first sketches the plot in outline form
  11. noun a particular mode in which something is manifested
    • his resentment took the form of extreme hostility
  12. noun (physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary
    • the reaction occurs in the liquid phase of the system
  13. noun a body of students who are taught together
    grade; course; class.
    • early morning classes are always sleepy
  14. noun an ability to perform well
    • he was at the top of his form
    • the team was off form last night
  15. noun a life-size dummy used to display clothes
    manakin; mannequin; manikin; mannikin.
  16. noun a mold for setting concrete
    • they built elaborate forms for pouring the foundation
  17. verb create (as an entity)
    organize; organise.
    • social groups form everywhere
    • They formed a company
  18. verb to compose or represent:"This wall forms the background of the stage setting"
    constitute; make.
    • The branches made a roof
    • This makes a fine introduction
  19. verb develop into a distinctive entity
    spring; take shape; take form.
    • our plans began to take shape
  20. verb give shape or form to
    • shape the dough
    • form the young child's character
  21. verb make something, usually for a specific function
    mould; work; shape; forge; mold.
    • She molded the rice balls carefully
    • Form cylinders from the dough
    • shape a figure
    • Work the metal into a sword
  22. verb establish or impress firmly in the mind
    • We imprint our ideas onto our children
  23. verb assume a form or shape
    • the water formed little beads

See Form, n.
  1. A suffix used to denote in the form ∨ shape of, resembling, etc.; as, valiform; oviform.
Form noun
OE. & F. forme, fr. L. forma; cf. Skr. dhariman. Cf. Firm.
  1. The shape and structure of anything, as distinguished from the material of which it is composed; particular disposition or arrangement of matter, giving it individuality or distinctive character; configuration; figure; external appearance.
    The form of his visage was changed. Dan. iii. 19.
    And woven close close, both matter, form, and style. Milton.
  2. Constitution; mode of construction, organization, etc.; system; as, a republican form of government.
  3. Established method of expression or practice; fixed way of proceeding; conventional or stated scheme; formula; as, a form of prayer.
    Those whom form of laws Condemned to die. Dryden.
  4. Show without substance; empty, outside appearance; vain, trivial, or conventional ceremony; conventionality; formality; as, a matter of mere form.
    Though well we may not pass upon his life Without the form of justice. Shak.
  5. Orderly arrangement; shapeliness; also, comeliness; elegance; beauty.
    The earth was without form and void. Gen. i. 2.
    He hath no form nor comeliness. Is. liii. 2.
  6. A shape; an image; a phantom.
  7. That by which shape is given or determined; mold; pattern; model.
  8. A long seat; a bench; hence, a rank of students in a school; a class; also, a class or rank in society. "Ladies of a high form." Bp. Burnet.
  9. The seat or bed of a hare.
    As in a form sitteth a weary hare. Chaucer.
  10. (Print.) The type or other matter from which an impression is to be taken, arranged and secured in a chase.
  11. (Fine Arts) The boundary line of a material object. In painting, more generally, the human body.
  12. (Gram.) The particular shape or structure of a word or part of speech; as, participial forms; verbal forms.
  13. (Crystallog.) The combination of planes included under a general crystallographic symbol. It is not necessarily a closed solid.
  14. (Metaph.) That assemblage or disposition of qualities which makes a conception, or that internal constitution which makes an existing thing to be what it is; -- called essential or substantial form, and contradistinguished from matter; hence, active or formative nature; law of being or activity; subjectively viewed, an idea; objectively, a law.
  15. Mode of acting or manifestation to the senses, or the intellect; as, water assumes the form of ice or snow. In modern usage, the elements of a conception furnished by the mind's own activity, as contrasted with its object or condition, which is called the matter; subjectively, a mode of apprehension or belief conceived as dependent on the constitution of the mind; objectively, universal and necessary accompaniments or elements of every object known or thought of.
  16. (Biol.) The peculiar characteristics of an organism as a type of others; also, the structure of the parts of an animal or plant.
Form transitive verb
F. former, L. formare, fr. forma. See Form, n.
imperfect & past participle Formed ; present participle & verbal noun Forming
  1. To give form or shape to; to frame; to construct; to make; to fashion.
    God formed man of the dust of the ground. Gen. ii. 7.
    The thought that labors in my forming brain. Rowe.
  2. To give a particular shape to; to shape, mold, or fashion into a certain state or condition; to arrange; to adjust; also, to model by instruction and discipline; to mold by influence, etc.; to train.
    'T is education forms the common mind. Pope.
    Thus formed for speed, he challenges the wind. Dryden.
  3. To go to make up; to act as constituent of; to be the essential or constitutive elements of; to answer for; to make the shape of; -- said of that out of which anything is formed or constituted, in whole or in part.
    The diplomatic politicians . . . who formed by far the majority. Burke.
  4. To provide with a form, as a hare. See Form, n., 9.
    The melancholy hare is formed in brakes and briers. Drayton.
  5. (Gram.) To derive by grammatical rules, as by adding the proper suffixes and affixes.
Form intransitive verb
  1. To take a form, definite shape, or arrangement; as, the infantry should form in column.
  2. To run to a form, as a hare. B. Jonson.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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