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



    BrE BrE//fɔːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrm//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they form
    BrE BrE//fɔːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrm//
    he / she / it forms
    BrE BrE//fɔːmz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrmz//
    past simple formed
    BrE BrE//fɔːmd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrmd//
    past participle formed
    BrE BrE//fɔːmd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrmd//
    -ing form forming
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːmɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrmɪŋ//
    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 at college. I didn't see enough of the play to form an opinion about it. Synonymsmakedo 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 interviewer.do (rather 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 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 (up) (into something) to form a line/queue/circle First get students to form groups of four. form (up) (into something) Queues were already forming outside the theatre. The teams formed up into 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 castle forms the focal point of the city. The survey formed part of a larger programme 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 the new government. 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 mould Positive and negative experiences form a child's character.
  13. 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 She formed the clay into a ball. The leader of the party with the most seats is invited to form a government. The plan came in a flash of inspiration, fully formed. a newly formed political party a perfectly formed body His outspoken remarks undoubtedly helped form popular opinion on the issue. No other work of fiction has had such an influence in forming public attitudes. On September 27 a new coalition administration was formed. Positive and negative experiences form a child’s character. Some of the insects will leave to form a new colony. The anarchists started to form volunteer militias. The band formed in 2005. The table was formed from two large slabs of stone. Willing volunteers formed teams of helpers to carry everything in. to form a government/​an adminstration/​a cabinet/​a coalition/​a committee/​a council/​an assembly/​a party/​a league/​an alliance/​a trade union/​a syndicate
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: form