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.
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.
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:
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.
conformity to the usages of society; formality; ceremony:
the elaborate forms prevalent in the courts of renaissance kings.
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.
Linguistics. the shape or pattern of a word or other construction (distinguished from ).
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.
Also, British, forme. Printing. an assemblage of types, leads, etc., secured in a chase to print from.
verb (used with object)
to construct or frame.
to make or produce.
to serve to make up; serve as; compose; constitute:
The remaining members will form the program committee.
to place in order; arrange; organize.
to frame (ideas, opinions, etc.) in the mind.
to contract or develop (habits, friendships, etc.).
to give form or shape to; shape; fashion.
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.
Military. to draw up in lines or in formation.
verb (used without object)
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.
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
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
(Brit, 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 Brit) 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
See logical form
(Brit) 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
(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
(transitive) to train, develop, or mould by instruction, discipline, or example
(transitive) to acquire, contract, or develop: to form a habit
(transitive) to be an element of, serve as, or constitute: this plank will form a bridge
(transitive) to draw up; organize: to form a club
(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
late 14c., from form (v.) + -able.
early 13c., from Old French forme “physical form, appearance, pleasing looks; shape, image,” from Latin forma “form, contour, figure, shape; appearance, looks’ model, pattern, design; sort, kind condition,” origin unknown. One theory holds that it is from Greek morphe “form, beauty, outward appearance” (see Morpheus) via Etruscan [Klein]. Sense of “behavior” is first recorded late 14c. Meaning “a document with blanks to be filled in” is from 1855.
c.1300, from Old French fourmer, from Latin formare, from forma “form, contour, figure, shape” (see form (n.)). Related: Formed; forming.
The record of past performances by a horse, team, competitor, etc; the BOOK, track record: What’s the form on General Electric this quarter?/ The form on the little gelding is super
[1940s+ Horse racing; fr form, ”the fitness or condition of a racehorse,” which is found by 1760]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
FORmula MAnipulation Compiler. J. Sammet & Tobey, IBM Boston APD, 1962. An extension of Fortran for symbolic mathematics. Versions: PL/I-FORMAC and FORMAC73. [“Introduction to FORMAC”, J.E. Sammet et al, IEEE Trans Elec Comp (Aug 1964)]. [Sammet 1969, pp. 474-491].
noun cheese Word Origin Italian
[fawr-muh l] /ˈfɔr məl/ adjective 1. being in accordance with the usual requirements, customs, etc.; conventional: to pay one’s formal respects. 2. marked by form or ceremony: a formal occasion. 3. designed for wear or use at occasions or events marked by elaborate ceremony or prescribed social observance: The formal attire included tuxedos and full-length […]
- Formal argument
programming (Or “parameter”) A name in a function or subroutine definition that is replaced by, or bound to, the corresponding actual argument when the function or subroutine is called. In many languages formal arguments behave like local variables which get initialised on entry. See: argument. (2002-07-02)