What does form mean?

Definitions for form

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word form.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. form, word form, signifier, descriptornoun

    the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something

    "the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached"

  2. kind, sort, form, varietynoun

    a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality

    "sculpture is a form of art"; "what kinds of desserts are there?"

  3. form, shape, patternnoun

    a perceptual structure

    "the composition presents problems for students of musical form"; "a visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them"

  4. shape, form, configuration, contour, conformationnoun

    any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)

    "he could barely make out their shapes"

  5. human body, physical body, material body, soma, build, figure, physique, anatomy, shape, bod, chassis, frame, form, fleshnoun

    alternative names for the body of a human being

    "Leonardo studied the human body"; "he has a strong physique"; "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"

  6. shape, formnoun

    the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance

    "geometry is the mathematical science of shape"

  7. form, shape, castnoun

    the visual appearance of something or someone

    "the delicate cast of his features"

  8. formnoun

    a printed document with spaces in which to write

    "he filled out his tax form"

  9. form, variant, strain, var.noun

    (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups

    "a new strain of microorganisms"

  10. formnoun

    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. formnoun

    a particular mode in which something is manifested

    "his resentment took the form of extreme hostility"

  12. phase, formnoun

    (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. class, form, grade, coursenoun

    a body of students who are taught together

    "early morning classes are always sleepy"

  14. formnoun

    an ability to perform well

    "he was at the top of his form"; "the team was off form last night"

  15. mannequin, manikin, mannikin, manakin, formnoun

    a life-size dummy used to display clothes

  16. formverb

    a mold for setting concrete

    "they built elaborate forms for pouring the foundation"

  17. form, organize, organiseverb

    create (as an entity)

    "social groups form everywhere"; "They formed a company"

  18. form, constitute, makeverb

    to compose or represent:"This wall forms the background of the stage setting"

    "The branches made a roof"; "This makes a fine introduction"

  19. form, take form, take shape, springverb

    develop into a distinctive entity

    "our plans began to take shape"

  20. shape, formverb

    give shape or form to

    "shape the dough"; "form the young child's character"

  21. shape, form, work, mold, mould, forgeverb

    make something, usually for a specific function

    "She molded the rice balls carefully"; "Form cylinders from the dough"; "shape a figure"; "Work the metal into a sword"

  22. imprint, formverb

    establish or impress firmly in the mind

    "We imprint our ideas onto our children"

  23. formverb

    assume a form or shape

    "the water formed little beads"


  1. formnoun

    The shape or visible structure of a thing or person.

  2. formnoun

    A thing that gives shape to other things as in a mold.

  3. formnoun

    An order of doing things, as in religious ritual.

  4. formnoun

    A blank document or template to be filled in by the user.

    To apply for the position, complete the application form.

  5. formnoun

    A grouping of words which maintain grammatical context in different usages.

  6. formnoun

    Characteristics not involving atomic components.

  7. formnoun

    A criminal record; loosely, past history (in a given area).

  8. formnoun

    A class or year of students (often preceded by an ordinal number to specify the year, as in sixth form).

  9. formnoun

    The den or home of a hare.

  10. formverb

    To give shape or visible structure to (a thing or person).

  11. formverb

    To take shape.

  12. formverb

    To create (a word) by inflection or derivation.

    By adding "-ness", you can form a noun from an adjective.

  13. formverb

    To constitute, to compose, to make up.

  14. formnoun

    A long bench with no back.

  15. formnoun

    A window or dialogue box.

  16. Etymology: From forme, from forme, from forma

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FORMnoun

    Etymology: forma, Latin; forme, French.

    Nay, women are frail too.
    ———— Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
    Which are as easy broke as they make forms. William Shakespeare.

    It stood still; but I could not discern the form thereof. Job.

    Gold will endure a vehement fire, without any change, and after it has been divided by corrosive liquors into invisible parts; yet may presently be precipitated, so as to appear again in its form. Nehemiah Grew, Cosmol. Sac. b. i.

    Matter, as wise logicians say,
    Cannot without a form subsist;
    And form, say I as well as they,
    Must fail, if matter brings no grist. Jonathan Swift.

    When noble benefits shall prove
    Not well dispos’d, the mind grown once corrupt,
    They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
    Than ever they were fair. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Here toils and death, and death’s half-brother, sleep,
    Forms terrible to view, their sentry keep;
    With anxious pleasures of a guilty mind,
    Deep frauds before, and open force behind. John Dryden, Æn.

    He that will look into many parts of Asia and America, will find men reason there perhaps as acutely as himself, who yet never heard of a syllogism, nor can reduce any one argument to those forms. John Locke.

    It lengthens out every act of worship, and produces more lasting and permanent impressions in the mind, than those which accompany any transient form of words that are uttered in the ordinary method of religious worship. Addison.

    He hath no form nor comeliness. Isa. liii. 2.

    What he spoke, though it lack’d form a little,
    Was not like madness. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Then those whom form of laws
    Condemn’d to die, when traitors judg’d their cause. Dryden.

    They were young heirs sent only for form from schools, where they were not suffered to stay three months in the year. Jonathan Swift, Essay on Modern Education.

    Though well we may not pass upon his life,
    Without the form of justice; yet our pow’r
    Shall do a court’sy to our wrath, which men
    May blame, but not controul. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    A long table, and a square table, or seat about the walls, seem things of form, but are things of substance; for at a long table, a few at the upper end, in effect, sway all the business; but in the other form, there is more use of the counsellors opinions that sit lower. Francis Bacon, Essay 21.

    That the parliaments of Ireland might want no decent or honourable form used in England, he caused a particular act to pass that the lords of Ireland should appear in parliament robes. John Davies, in Ireland.

    Their general used, in all dispatches made by himself, to observe all decency in their forms. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    How am I to interpret, sir, this visit?
    Is it a compliment of form, or love? Ambrose Philips, Dist. Moth.

    He who affirmeth speech to be necessary amongst all men, throughout the world, doth not thereby import that all men must necessarily speak one kind of language; even so the necessity of polity and regimen in all churches may be held, without holding any one certain form to be necessary in them all. Richard Hooker, b. iii. s. 2.

    Nor are constant forms of prayer more likely to flat and hinder the spirit of prayer and devotion, than unpremeditated and confused variety to distract and lose it. Charles I .

    Nor seek to know
    Their process, or the forms of law below. John Dryden, Æn.

    If a chair be defined a seat for a single person, with a back belonging to it, then a stool is a seat for a single person without a back; and a form is a seat for several persons, without a back. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    I was seen with her in the manorhouse, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park. William Shakespeare.

    It will be necessary to see and examine those works which have given so great a reputation to the masters of the first form. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

    Now for a clod-like hare in form they peer;
    Now bolt and cudgel squirrels leap do move;
    Now the ambitious lark, with mirrour clear,
    They catch, while he, fool! to himself makes love. Philip Sidney.

    Have you observ’d a sitting hare,
    List’ning, and fearful of the storm
    Of horns and hounds, clap back her ear,
    Afraid to keep or leave her form. Matthew Prior.

    In definitions, whether they be framed larger to augment, or stricter to abridge the number of sacraments, we find grace expressly mentioned as their true essential form, and elements as the matter whereunto that form doth adjoin itself. Richard Hooker.

    They inferred, if the world were a living creature, it had a soul and spirit, by which they did not intend God, for they did admit of a deity besides, but only the soul or essential form of the universe. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

  2. To Formverb

    Etymology: formo, Latin.

    God formed man of the dust of the ground. Gen. ii. 7.

    She form’d the phantom of well-bodied air. Alexander Pope.

    Lucretius taught him not to form his heroe, to give him piety or valour for his manners. John Dryden, Æn. Dedicat.

    Our differences with the Romanists are thus formed into an interest, and become the design not of single persons, but of corporations and successions. Decay of Piety.

    The defeat of the design is the routing of opinions formed for promoting it. Decay of Piety.

    He dies too soon;
    And fate, if possible, must be delay’d:
    The thought that labours in my forming brain,
    Yet crude and immature, demands more time. Nicholas Rowe.

    Let him to this with easy pains be brought,
    And seem to labour when he labours not:
    Thus form’d for speed, he challenges the wind,
    And leaves the Scythian arrow far behind. John Dryden, Virg. Geo.


  1. Form

    Form is the shape, visual appearance, or configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something is or happens.


  1. form

    Form can refer to a variety of meanings depending on the context. Generally, form refers to the structure, shape, or arrangement of something. It can also pertain to a particular manner or style in which something is done or presented. In the context of art or design, form can describe the physical appearance or composition of an object, while in the context of communication or written language, form can refer to the organization or structure of a literary work or document.

Webster Dictionary

  1. formnoun

    a suffix used to denote in the form / shape of, resembling, etc.; as, valiform; oviform

  2. Formnoun

    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

  3. Formnoun

    constitution; mode of construction, organization, etc.; system; as, a republican form of government

  4. Formnoun

    established method of expression or practice; fixed way of proceeding; conventional or stated scheme; formula; as, a form of prayer

  5. Formnoun

    show without substance; empty, outside appearance; vain, trivial, or conventional ceremony; conventionality; formality; as, a matter of mere form

  6. Formnoun

    orderly arrangement; shapeliness; also, comeliness; elegance; beauty

  7. Formnoun

    a shape; an image; a phantom

  8. Formnoun

    that by which shape is given or determined; mold; pattern; model

  9. Formnoun

    a long seat; a bench; hence, a rank of students in a school; a class; also, a class or rank in society

  10. Formnoun

    the seat or bed of a hare

  11. Formnoun

    the type or other matter from which an impression is to be taken, arranged and secured in a chase

  12. Formnoun

    the boundary line of a material object. In painting, more generally, the human body

  13. Formnoun

    the particular shape or structure of a word or part of speech; as, participial forms; verbal forms

  14. Formnoun

    the combination of planes included under a general crystallographic symbol. It is not necessarily a closed solid

  15. Formnoun

    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

  16. Formnoun

    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

  17. Formnoun

    the peculiar characteristics of an organism as a type of others; also, the structure of the parts of an animal or plant

  18. Formnoun

    to give form or shape to; to frame; to construct; to make; to fashion

  19. Formnoun

    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

  20. Formnoun

    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

  21. Formnoun

    to provide with a form, as a hare. See Form, n., 9

  22. Formnoun

    to derive by grammatical rules, as by adding the proper suffixes and affixes

  23. Formverb

    to take a form, definite shape, or arrangement; as, the infantry should form in column

  24. Formverb

    to run to a form, as a hare

  25. Etymology: [See Form, n.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Form

    form, n. shape of a body: the boundary-line of an object: a model: a mould: mode of being: mode of arrangement: order: regularity: system, as of government: beauty or elegance: established practice: ceremony: fitness or efficiency for any undertaking: a blank schedule to be filled in with details: a specimen document to be copied or imitated: (phil.) the inherent nature of an object, that which the mind itself contributes as the condition of knowing, that in which the essence of a thing consists: (print.) the type from which an impression is to be taken arranged and secured in a chase—often Forme:—(in the fol. senses pron. fōrm), a long seat, a bench: the pupils on a form, a class: the bed of a hare, which takes its shape from the animal's body.—v.t. to give form or shape to: to make: to contrive: to settle, as an opinion: to combine: to go to make up: to establish: (gram.) to make by derivation.—v.i. to assume a form.—adj. Form′al, according to form or established mode: ceremonious, punctilious, methodical: having the form only: (Shak.) embodied in a form: having the power of making a thing what it is: essential: proper.—v.t. and v.i. Form′alise.—ns. Form′alism, excessive observance of form or conventional usage, esp. in religion: stiffness of manner; Form′alist, one having exaggerated regard to rules or established usages; Formal′ity, the precise observance of forms or ceremonies: established order: sacrifice of substance to form.—adv. Form′ally.—n. Formā′tion, a making or producing: structure: (geol.) a group of strata of one period.—adj. Form′ative, giving form, determining, moulding: (gram.) inflectional, serving to form, not radical.—n. a derivative.—p.adj. Formed, trained, mature.—n. Form′er.—adj. Form′less, shapeless.—Formal logic (see Logic).—Good, or Bad, form, according to good social usage, or the opposite; Take form, to assume a definite appearance. [O. Fr. forme—L. forma, shape.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. form

    To form, in a general acceptation of the term, is to assume or produce any shape or figure, extent or depth of line or column, by means of prescribed rules in military movements or dispositions. To form on is to advance forward, so as to connect yourself with any given object of formation, and to lengthen the line.

Editors Contribution

  1. form

    A shape and structure.

    The house was taking form in front of their eyes and they were delighted.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 30, 2019  

  2. form

    An electronic document.

    The form was easy to use electronically.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 24, 2020  

  3. form

    The energy or feeling of an animal, person, people or collective group.

    Their father is in happy form when they share time together.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 30, 2019  

Suggested Resources

  1. FORM

    What does FORM stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the FORM acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

  2. Form

    Form vs. From -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Form and From.


  1. Form

    applied to representatives of a species which differ from the normal or type, in some uniform character; it is seasonal if it occurs at a period different from the type; dimorphic if there is an alternation of generations or two color patterns occur; or sexual if the members of one sex differ uniformly from those of the other.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'form' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #312

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'form' in Written Corpus Frequency: #633

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'form' in Nouns Frequency: #56

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'form' in Verbs Frequency: #127

How to pronounce form?

How to say form in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of form in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of form in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of form in a Sentence

  1. Shubham Kanodia:

    TOI-5205b’s existence stretches what we know about the disks in which these planets are born, in the beginning, if there isn’t enough rocky material in the disk to form the initial core, then one cannot form a gas giant planet. And at the end, if the disk evaporates away before the massive core is formed, then one cannot form a gas giant planet. And yet TOI-5205b formed despite these guardrails. Based on our nominal current understanding of planet formation, TOI-5205b should not exist; it is a ‘forbidden’ planet.

  2. Hermann Hesse:

    To die is to go into the Collective Unconscious, to lose oneself in order to be transformed into form, pure form.

  3. Dr. Rob Gilbert:

    First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.

  4. sendmail ruleset 3 comment from DEC.:

    One form to rule them all, one form to find them, one form to bring them all and in the darkness rewrite the hell out of them

  5. William Franklin Billy Graham:

    The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for form

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    expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear expressive language
    • A. articulate
    • B. contagious
    • C. ambidextrous
    • D. appellative

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