American English

Definition of form verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they form
    he / she / it forms
    past simple formed
    -ing form forming
    jump to other results
    start to exist
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (especially of natural things) to begin to exist and gradually develop into a particular shape; to make something begin to exist in a particular shape Flowers appeared, but fruits failed to form. Storm clouds are forming on the horizon. form something These hills were formed by glaciation.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to start to exist and develop; to make something start to exist and develop A plan formed in my head. form something I formed many close friendships in college. I didn't see enough of the play to form an opinion about it. Thesaurusmakedo create develop produce generate formThese words all mean to make something from parts or materials, or to cause something to exist or happen.make to create or prepare something by combining materials or putting parts together; to cause something to exist or happen:She makes her own clothes. She made a good impression on the (somewhat informal) to make or prepare something, especially something artistic or something to eat:He did a beautiful drawing of a house. Who's doing the food for the party?create to make something exist or happen, especially something new that did not exist before:Scientists disagree about how the universe was created.make or create?Make is a more general word and is more often used for physical things: you would usually make a table/dress/cake but create jobs/wealth. You can use create for something physical in order to emphasize how original or unusual the object is:Try this new dish, created by our head chef.develop (used especially in business contexts) to think of and produce a new product:to develop new softwareproduce to make things to be sold; to create something using skill:a factory that produces microchipsgenerate to produce or create something, especially power, money, or ideas:to generate electricity Brainstorming is a good way of generating ideas.form [often passive] to make something from something else; to make something into something else:Rearrange the letters to form a new word. The chain is formed from 136 links.Patterns to make/create/develop/produce/generate/form something from/out of something to make/form something into something to make/produce wine/cheese to create/develop a new product to create/produce/generate income/profits/wealth to produce/generate electricity/heat/power
  3. make shape/form
  4. 3[transitive, often passive] to produce something in a particular way or make it have a particular shape form something Bend the wire so that it forms a “V.” Rearrange the letters to form a new word. Games can help children learn to form letters. Do you know how to form the past tense? form something into something Form the dough into balls with your hands. form something from/of something The chain is formed from 136 links. (formal) The table was formed of two large slabs of stone.
  5. 4[transitive, intransitive] to move or arrange objects or people so that they are in a group with a particular shape; to become arranged in a group like this form somebody/something (into something) to form a line/circle First get students to form groups of four. form (into something) Lines were already forming outside the theater. The teams formed into two lines.
  6. have function/role
  7. 5[transitive] form something to have a particular function or pattern The trees form a natural protection from the sun's rays.
  8. 6linking verb + noun to be something The college forms the focal point of the town. The survey formed part of a larger program of research. These drawings will form the basis of the exhibition.
  9. organization
  10. 7[transitive, intransitive] form (something) to start a group of people, such as an organization, a committee, etc.; to come together in a group of this kind They hope to form a grass-roots political movement. He formed a band with some friends from school. a newly-formed political party The band formed in 2007.
  11. have influence on
  12. 8[transitive] form something to have an influence on the way that something develops synonym mold Positive and negative experiences form a child's character.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: form