I. noun Etymology: Middle English forme, from Anglo-French furme, forme, from Latin forma form, beauty Date: 13th century 1. a. the shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material b. a body (as of a person) especially in its external appearance or as distinguished from the face ; figure c. archaic beauty 2. the essential nature of a thing as distinguished from its matter: as a. idea 1a b. the component of a thing that determines its kind 3. a. established method of expression or proceeding ; procedure according to rule or rote; also a standard or expectation based on past experience ; precedent <
true to form, the champions won again
b. a prescribed and set order of words ; formula <
the form of the marriage service
4. a printed or typed document with blank spaces for insertion of required or requested information <
tax forms
5. a. (1) conduct regulated by extraneous controls (as of custom or etiquette) ; ceremony (2) show without substance b. manner or conduct as tested by a prescribed or accepted standard <
rudeness is simply bad form
c. manner or style of performing or accomplishing according to recognized standards of technique <
a strong swimmer but weak on form
6. a. the resting place or nest of a hare b. a long seat ; bench 7. a. a supporting frame model of the human figure or part (as the torso) of the human figure usually used for displaying apparel b. a proportioned and often adjustable model for fitting clothes c. a mold in which concrete is placed to set 8. the printing type or other matter arranged and secured in a chase ready for printing 9. a. one of the different modes of existence, action, or manifestation of a particular thing or substance ; kind <
one form of respiratory disorder
a form of art
b. a distinguishable group of organisms c. linguistic form d. one of the different aspects a word may take as a result of inflection or change of spelling or pronunciation <
verbal forms
e. a mathematical expression of a particular type <
a bilinear form
a polynomial form
10. a. (1) orderly method of arrangement (as in the presentation of ideas) ; manner of coordinating elements (as of an artistic production or course of reasoning) (2) a particular kind or instance of such arrangement <
the sonnet is a poetical form
b. pattern, schema <
arguments of the same logical form
c. the structural element, plan, or design of a work of art — compare content 2c d. a visible and measurable unit defined by a contour ; a bounded surface or volume 11. a grade in a British school or in some American private schools 12. a. (1) the past performance of a race horse (2) racing form b. known ability to perform <
a singer at the top of her form
c. condition suitable for performing (as in athletic competition) <
back on form
II. verb Date: 13th century transitive verb 1. a. to give a particular shape to ; shape or mold into a certain state or after a particular model <
form the dough into a ball
a state formed along republican lines
b. to arrange themselves in <
the dancers formed a line
c. to model by instruction and discipline <
a mind formed by classical education
2. to give form or shape to ; fashion, construct 3. to serve to make up or constitute ; be an essential or basic element of 4. develop, acquire <
form a habit
5. to arrange in order ; draw up 6. a. to assume an inflection so as to produce (as a tense) <
forms the past in -ed
b. to combine to make (a compound word) intransitive verb 1. to become formed or shaped 2. to take form ; come into existence ; arise 3. to take on a definite form, shape, or arrangement • formability nounformable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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