From Middle English forme (“shape, figure, manner, bench, frame, seat, condition, agreement, etc.”), borrowed from Old French forme, from Latin forma (“shape, figure, image, outline, plan, mold, frame, case, etc., manner, sort, kind, etc.”)
form (countable and uncountable, plural forms)
- (heading, physical) To do with shape.
- The shape or visible structure of a thing or person.
- 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
- Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in The Lonely Pyramid:
The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. […] Roaring, leaping, pouncing, the tempest raged about the wanderers, drowning and blotting out their forms with sandy spume.
2013 May 10, Audrey Garric, “Urban canopies let nature bloom”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 22, page 30:
As towns continue to grow, replanting vegetation has become a form of urban utopia and green roofs are spreading fast. Last year 1m square metres of plant-covered roofing was built in France, as much as in the US, and 10 times more than in Germany, the pioneer in this field.
- A thing that gives shape to other things as in a mold.
- Characteristics not involving atomic components. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (dated) A long bench with no back.
1585–1586 January 18, “LXIII. Testamentum Johannis Ogle. [63. Will of John Ogle.]”, in [William Greenwell], editor, Wills and Inventories from the Registry at Durham. Part II (The Publications of the Surtees Society; XXXVIII), Durham: Published for the Society by George Andrews, Durham; London: Whittaker and Co., 13 Ave Maria Lane; T. and W. Boone, 29 New Bond Street; Edinburgh: Blackwood and Sons, published 1860, OCLC 931289584, page 132: In the hall. One large table, with frame. 10s. ij cobbordes 8s. j fourme, j chaire, and j kenninge measure, 12d.
- 1981, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, page 10:
- I can see the old schoolroom yet: the broken-down desks and the worn-out forms with knots in that got stuck into your backside […].
- 2010, Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography:
- The prefect grabbed me by the shoulders and steered me down a passageway, and down another and finally through a door that led into a long, low dining-room crowded with loudly breakfasting boys sitting on long, shiny oak forms, as benches used to be called.
- (fine arts) The boundary line of a material object. In painting, more generally, the human body.
- (crystallography) The combination of planes included under a general crystallographic symbol. It is not necessarily a closed solid.
- (social) To do with structure or procedure.
- An order of doing things, as in religious ritual.
- Established method of expression or practice; fixed way of proceeding; conventional or stated scheme; formula.
- (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
- Those whom form of laws / Condemned to die.
- Constitution; mode of construction, organization, etc.; system.
a republican form of government
- Show without substance; empty, outside appearance; vain, trivial, or conventional ceremony; conventionality; formality.
a matter of mere form
- (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
- Though well we may not pass upon his life / Without the form of justice.
- (archaic) A class or rank in society.
- (Britain) A criminal record; loosely, past history (in a given area).
- 2011, Jane Martinson, The Guardian, 4 May:
- It's fair to say she has form on this: she has criticised David Cameron's proposal to create all-women shortlists for prospective MPs, tried to ban women wearing high heels at work as the resulting pain made them take time off work, and tried to reduce the point at which an abortion can take place from 24 to 21 weeks.
- (Britain, education) A class or year of school pupils (often preceded by an ordinal number to specify the year, as in sixth form).
- 1928, George Bickerstaff, The mayor, and other folk
- One other day after afternoon school, Mr. Percival came behind me and put his hand on me. "Let me see, what's your name? Which form are you in? […]"
- 1976, Ronald King, School and college: studies of post-sixteen education
- From the sixth form will come the scholars and the administrators.
- A blank document or template to be filled in by the user.
To apply for the position, complete the application form.
- Level of performance.
- The team's form has been poor this year.
- The orchestra was on top form this evening.
- (grammar) A grouping of words which maintain grammatical context in different usages; the particular shape or structure of a word or part of speech.
participial forms; verb forms
- The den or home of a hare.
1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):, I.iii.1.2:
- The Egyptians therefore in their hieroglyphics expressed a melancholy man by a hare sitting in her form, as being a most timorous and solitary creature.
- 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p.275:
- Hares left their snug ‘forms’ in the cold grass.
- (computing, programming) A window or dialogue box.
- 1998, Gary Cornell, Visual Basic 6 from the ground up (p.426)
- While it is quite amazing how much one can do with Visual Basic with the code attached to a single form, to take full advantage of VB you'll need to start using multiple forms and having the code on all the forms in your project interact.
- Neil Smyth, C# Essentials
- Throughout this chapter we will work with a form in a new project.
- (taxonomy) An infraspecific rank.
- (printing, dated) The type or other matter from which an impression is to be taken, arranged and secured in a chase.
- (geometry) A quantic.
- (sports, fitness) A specific way of performing a movement.
shape or visible structure
- Japanese: 形状 (ja) (けいじょう, keijō), 形式 (ja) (けいしき, keishiki)
- Khmer: សំណុំបែបបទ (sɑmnom baep bɑt)
- Latin: forma (la) f, figura f
- Macedonian: облик m (oblik)
- Maori: āhua (mi)
- Norman: forme f
- Occitan: forma (oc) f
- Persian: شکل (fa) (šekl), صورت (fa) (surat), فرم (fa) (form), دیسه (fa) (dise)
- Polish: please add this translation if you can
- Portuguese: forma (pt) f
- Romanian: formă (ro)
- Russian: фо́рма (ru) f (fórma), фигу́ра (ru) f (figúra)
- Scottish Gaelic: cumadh m, cruth m, dèanamh m
- Spanish: forma (es) f
- Swedish: form (sv) c
- Tagalog: anyo, hubog
- Tajik: сурат (tg) (surat)
- Vietnamese: hình (vi), hình thể (vi), hình dạng (vi), hình dáng (vi), hình thức (vi)
- Yagnobi: сурат
document to be filled in
- Albanian: formular (sq) m
- Arabic: اِسْتِمَارَة f (istimāra)
- Armenian: ձեւ (jew), ձեւաթուղթ (jewatʿułtʿ)
- Azerbaijani: blank
- Belarusian: бланк m (blank), фо́рма f (fórma), анке́та f (ankjéta), фармуля́р m (farmuljár)
- Bengali: ফর্ম (phôrm)
- Bulgarian: формуля́р m (formuljár)
- Catalan: formulari m
- Mandarin: 表格 (zh) (biǎogē), 表 (zh) (biǎo)
- Czech: formulář (cs) m
- Danish: formular (da) c, blanket (da)
- Dutch: formulier (nl) n
- Esperanto: formularo
- Estonian: formular
- Finnish: lomake (fi)
- French: formulaire (fr) m
- Galician: formulario m
- Georgian: ბლანკი (blanḳi), ფორმა (porma), ფორმულარი (pormulari)
- German: Formular (de) n, Vordruck m
- Greek: αίτηση (el) f (aítisi)
- Greenlandic: blanketti
- Gujarati: please add this translation if you can
- Hebrew: please add this translation if you can
- Hindi: अर्ज़ी f (arzī), फारम (hi) (phāram)
- Hungarian: űrlap (hu)
- Icelandic: please add this translation if you can
- Indonesian: formulir (id), borang (id)
- Italian: formulario (it), modulo (it) m
- Japanese: 用紙 (ようし, yōshi)
- Kazakh: бланк (kk) (blank), формуляр (formwlyar)
- Khmer: សំណុំបែបបទ (sɑmnom baep bɑt)
- Korean: 용지 (yongji)
- Kyrgyz: бланк (ky) (blank), формуляр (formulyar)
- Macedonian: обра́зец m (obrázec), формула́р m (formulár)
- Malay: borang
- Maori: puka
- Mongolian: please add this translation if you can
- Bokmål: skjema n
- Nynorsk: skjema n
- Persian: فرم (fa) (form)
- Polish: formularz (pl) m, blankiet (pl) m
- Portuguese: formulário (pt) m
- Romanian: formular (ro) n
- Russian: бланк (ru) m (blank), фо́рма (ru) f (fórma), анке́та (ru) f (ankéta), формуля́р (ru) m (formuljár)
- Cyrillic: формулар m
- Roman: formular (sh) m
- Slovak: formulár m
- Slovene: obrazec m
- Spanish: formulario (es) m, forma (es) f, planilla (es) f
- Swedish: formulär (sv) n, blankett (sv)
- Tajik: бланк (blank)
- Thai: แบบฟอร์ม (bɛ̀ɛp-fɔɔm)
- Turkish: form (tr)
- Turkmen: blank (tk)
- Ukrainian: бланк m (blank), фо́рма (uk) f (fórma), анке́та (uk) f (ankéta), формуля́р m (formuljár)
- Uzbek: blank (uz), formulyar (uz)
- Vietnamese: đơn (vi), biểu mẫu (vi)
level of pre-collegiate education — see grade
form (third-person singular simple present forms, present participle forming, simple past and past participle formed)
- (transitive) To assume (a certain shape or visible structure).
When you kids form a straight line I'll hand out the lollies.
2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
- (transitive) To give (a shape or visible structure) to a thing or person.
- Roll out the dough to form a thin sheet.
- (intransitive) To take shape.
When icicles start to form on the eaves you know the roads will be icy.
2013 July-August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist:
As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels. The reason plaque forms isn’t entirely known, but it seems to be related to high levels of cholesterol inducing an inflammatory response, which can also attract and trap more cellular debris over time.
- To put together or bring into being; assemble.
- The socialists did not have enough MPs to form a government.
- Paul McCartney and John Lennon formed The Beatles in Liverpool in 1960.
- (transitive, linguistics) To create (a word) by inflection or derivation.
By adding "-ness", you can form a noun from an adjective.
- (transitive) To constitute, to compose, to make up.
Teenagers form the bulk of extreme traffic offenders.
- (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Burke
- the diplomatic politicians […] who formed by far the majority
- But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ […] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, […].
- 1948 May, Stanley Pashko, “The Biggest Family”, in Boys' Life, Volume 38, Number 5, Boy Scouts of America, ISSN 0006-8608, p.10:
- Insects form the biggest family group in nature's kingdom, and also the oldest.
- To mould or model by instruction or discipline.
Singing in a choir helps to form a child's sociality.
- To provide (a hare) with a form.
- (electrical, historical, transitive) To treat (plates) to prepare them for introduction into a storage battery, causing one plate to be composed more or less of spongy lead, and the other of lead peroxide. This was formerly done by repeated slow alternations of the charging current, but later the plates or grids were coated or filled, one with a paste of red lead and the other with litharge, introduced into the cell, and formed by a direct charging current.
to give shape
- Haitian Creole: fòme
- Italian: formare (it)
- Japanese: 形作る (かたちづくる, katachizukeru)
- Latin: fōrmō (la), fingō, figūrō
- Macedonian: обликува (óblikuva)
- Occitan: formar
- Persian: شکل دادن (fa) (šekl dâdan)
- Portuguese: formar (pt)
- Romanian: forma (ro)
- Russian: придава́ть фо́рму impf (pridavátʹ fórmu), формирова́ть (ru) impf (formirovátʹ), образо́вывать (ru) impf (obrazóvyvatʹ), образова́ть (ru) pf (obrazovátʹ), формова́ть (ru) impf (formovátʹ)
- Spanish: formar (es)
- Swedish: forma (sv)
- Vietnamese: làm thành, tạo thành (vi), nặn thành, xếp thành, tổ chức (vi), thiết lập (vi), thành lập (vi), sáng lập (vi), tạo (vi)
(intransitive) to take shape
(linguistics) to create a word
to constitute, to compose