American English

Definition of form noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a type or variety of something forms of transportation/government/energy one of the most common forms of cancer all the millions of different life forms on the planet today see also art form
  2. way something is/looks
  3. 2[countable, uncountable] the particular way something is, seems, looks, or is presented The disease can take several different forms. Help in the form of money will be very welcome. Help arrived in the form of two police officers. The training program takes the form of a series of workshops. Most political questions involve morality in some form or other. We need to come to some form of agreement. I'm opposed to censorship in any way, shape, or form. This dictionary is also available in electronic form.
  4. document
  5. 3[countable] an official document containing questions and spaces for answers an application/entry/order form to fill out a form I filled out a form on their Web site. to complete a form a reservation form
  6. shape
  7. 4[countable] the shape of someone or something; a person or thing of which only the shape can be seen her slender form The human form has changed little over the last 30 ,000 years. They made out a shadowy form in front of them.
  8. arrangement of parts
  9. 5[uncountable] the arrangement of parts in a whole, especially in a work of art or piece of writing Shape and form are of greater importance to me than color. In a novel, form and content are equally important. Thesaurusstructureframework form composition construction fabricThese are all words for the way the different parts of something combine together or the way that something has been made.structure the way in which the parts of something are connected together or arranged; a particular arrangement of parts:the structure of the building/human body the social structure of society the grammatical structures of a language a salary structureframework a set of beliefs, ideas, or rules that forms the basis of a system or society:The report provides a framework for further research.form the arrangement of parts in a whole, especially in a work of art or piece of writing:As a photographer, shape and form were more important to him than color.composition (somewhat formal) the different parts or people that combine to form something; the way in which they combine:recent changes in the composition of our workforceconstruction the way that something has been built or made:He blamed the accident on shoddy construction.fabric (somewhat formal) the basic structure of a society or an organization that enables it to function successfully:This is a trend that threatens the very fabric of society.Patterns the basic structure/framework/form/composition/construction/fabric of something a simple/complex structure/framework/form the economic/political/social structure/framework/composition/fabric of something the chemical/genetic structure/composition of something
  10. performance
  11. 6[uncountable] how well someone or something is performing; the fact that someone or something is performing well The new quarterback shows disappointing form so far this season. She signaled her return to form with a convincing victory. She was in great form (= happy and cheerful and full of energy) at the wedding party.
  12. way of doing things
  13. 7[uncountable, countable] the usual way of doing something conventional social forms True to form (= as he usually does) he arrived an hour late. Partners of employees are invited as a matter of form.
  14. of word
  15. 8[countable] a way of writing or saying a word that shows, for example, if it is plural or in a particular tense the infinitive form of the verb
  16. Idioms
    in any (way,) shape or form (informal)
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    of any type I don't approve of violence in any shape or form.
    take form (formal)
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    to gradually form into a particular shape; to gradually develop In her body a new life was taking form.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: form