Definition of form noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɔːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrm//
    Good health, Exercise, School life
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  1. 1  [countable] a type or variety of something forms of transport/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 programme 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 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 (especially British English) to fill in a form (especially North American English) to fill out a form I filled in/out a form on their website. to complete a form (British English) a booking form (North American English) a reservation form
  6. shape
  7. 4  [countable] the shape of somebody/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 colour. In a novel, form and content are equally important. Synonymsstructureframework 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 [U] the arrangement of parts in a whole, especially in a work of art of piece of writing:As a photographer, shape and form were more important to him than colour.composition [U] (rather formal) the different parts or people that combine to form something; the way in which they combine:recent changes in the composition of the workforceconstruction [U] the way that something has been built or made:ships of steel constructionfabric (rather formal) the basic structure of a society or an organization that enables it to function successfully:This is a trend which 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. being fit/healthy
  11. 6[uncountable] (British English) how fit and healthy somebody is; the state of being fit and healthy After six months' training the whole team is in superb form. I really need to get back in form. The horse was clearly out of form. See related entries: Good health, Exercise
  12. performance
  13. 7[uncountable] how well somebody/something is performing; the fact that somebody/something is performing well Midfielder Elliott has shown disappointing form recently. On current/present form the party is heading for another election victory. She signalled her return to form with a convincing victory. He's right on form (= performing well) as a crazy science teacher in his latest movie. The whole team was on good form and deserved the win. She was in great form (= happy and cheerful and full of energy) at the wedding party.
  14. way of doing things
  15. 8[uncountable, countable] (especially British English) the usual way of doing something What's the form when you apply for a research grant? 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.
  16. 9[uncountable] good/bad form (old-fashioned, British English) the way of doing things that is socially acceptable/not socially acceptable When I was a boy it was always considered bad form to talk about food or money. Good form dictated that she should dress more casually in the country.
  17. of word
  18. 10[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
  19. in school
  20. 11(British English, old-fashioned) a class in a school Who's your form teacher? see also sixth form compare year (4) See related entries: School life
  21. 12-former (in compounds) (British English, old-fashioned) a student in the form mentioned at school a third-former see also sixth-former
  22. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French forme (noun), fo(u)rmer (verb, from Latin formare ‘to form’), both based on Latin forma ‘a mould or form’.Extra examples Barcelona are the team in form. Ben was in great form at the wedding. Bullying can take many forms. He’ll be a difficult opponent to beat; he’s really on form today. Her recent illness possibly explains why she was off form in this race. His recent performances mark a welcome return to form. In its purest form, the substance is highly explosive. On his present form it seems likely that he will win the match. Please complete the application form and return it to us. Please fill out the online form on our website. She urgently needs to find her form. She was in fine form for the tournament. Story-telling has acquired the status of an art form. Strikes are the most common form of industrial protest. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. The company will not tolerate discrimination in any shape or form. The data is stored in digital form. The document was edited before being circulated in its final form. The results of the survey are shown below in tabular form. The team entered the tournament in top form. The team is hoping that it can maintain its current form. The team was out of form and did not play as well as expected. These costs were passed on in the form of higher rents. These costs were passed on to the tenants in the form of higher rents. Two weeks later the moth will emerge in its adult form. We spend most of our time communicating in some form or other. Yesterday’s game saw him back on form. a god who could take on human form a mythical creature that could change its form a virulent form of flu an early form of bicycle an extreme form of socialism paintings of the human form primitive life forms at the bottom of the sea various forms of surveillance After six months’ training the whole team is in superb form. Do you have your booking form? Henry James is considered to be a master of literary form. Her slender form and graceful movements entranced him. I had to fill in several order forms. I really need to get back in form. I’m opposed to censorship in any shape or form. It was a long and complicated form. Most political questions involve morality in some form or other. Music is not like other art forms. Please fill in the application form in black ink. The form asks for details of all previous addresses. The form of the poem is of great significance. The photographer always said that shape and form were more important to him than colour. The study of poetry can often be seen as the study of form. Theirs is an extreme form of religious fundamentalism. There are various forms of transport available. There were a lot of official forms to fill out. This is a standard form sent to all applicants. This is one of the most common forms of cancer. We need to look for an alternative form of energy. What is the relationship between form and meaning in the painting? Will we ever discover intelligent life forms on other planets?Idioms
    in any (way,) shape or form
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    (informal) of any type I don't approve of violence in any shape or form.
    (formal) to gradually form into a particular shape; to gradually develop In her body a new life was taking form.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: form