Meaning of FORM in English

I. form 1 S1 W1 /fɔːm $ fɔːrm/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ form , ↑ formation , ↑ transformation , ↑ reformer , ↑ reform , ↑ reformation , ↑ reformist , ↑ transformer , ↑ formlessness ; verb : ↑ form , ↑ reform , ↑ transform ; adjective : reformed, ↑ reformist , ↑ formless ; adverb : ↑ formlessly ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: forme , from Latin forma , perhaps from Greek morphe 'form, shape' ]

1 . TYPE [countable] a particular type of something that exists in many different varieties

form of

a severe form of cancer

The bicycle is an environment-friendly form of transport.

the art forms of the twentieth century

2 . WAY SOMETHING IS/APPEARS [countable] the way something is or appears to be:

We oppose racism in all its forms.

in the form of something

People are bombarded with information in the form of TV advertising.

Vitamin C can be taken in capsule or tablet form.

A typical training programme takes the form of a series of workshops.

3 . SHAPE [countable] a shape

form of

the shadowy forms of the divers swimming below the boat

in the form of something

The main staircase was in the form of a big ‘S’.

The female form is a thing of beauty.

4 . DOCUMENT [countable] an official document with spaces where you write information, especially about yourself:

Application forms are available from the college.

Just complete the entry form (=write the answers to the questions on a form) and return it.

fill in/out a form (=write the answers to the questions on a form)

Fill in the form and send it back with your cheque.

5 . ART/LITERATURE [uncountable] the structure of a work of art or piece of writing, rather than the ideas it expresses, events it describes etc:

the distinction between form and content

6 . PERFORMANCE [uncountable] how well a sports person, team, musician etc is performing, or has performed recently:

I have been greatly encouraged by the team’s recent form.

on present/current/past etc form

On current form he’s one of the top three players in the country.

in good/fine/great form

He’s been in good form all this season.

He had no qualms about dropping players he thought were off form (=not performing well) .

7 . SCHOOL [countable] British English a class in a school

first/second/sixth etc form

examinations taken in the fourth form

⇨ ↑ form teacher

8 . GRAMMAR [countable] a way of writing or saying a word that shows its number, tense etc. For example, ‘was’ is a past form of the verb ‘to be’.

9 . CRIMINAL RECORD [uncountable] British English informal if someone has form, they are known to the police because they have committed crimes in the past

10 . bad form old-fashioned behaviour that is considered to be socially unacceptable SYN bad manners :

It used to be considered bad form to talk about money.

11 . form of words a way of expressing something official SYN wording :

The precise form of words has been agreed by the 12 heads of government.

12 . be in good/fine/great etc form ( also be on good/fine/great etc form British English ) to be full of confidence and energy, so that you do something well or talk in an interesting or amusing way:

Michelle was in great form at last week’s conference.

13 . take form

a) to begin to exist or develop:

The womb represents the very first place in which life takes form.

b) to start to become a particular shape:

As the men worked, I watched the ship’s hull take form.

⇨ true to form at ↑ true 1 (7)

• • •


▪ type/kind/sort one member of a group of people or things that have similar features or qualities. Type is the usual word to use in scientific or technical contexts. In everyday English, people usually use kind or sort :

What type of fish is this?


There are two main personality types.

▪ kind a type of person or thing. Kind is less formal than type , and is used especially in everyday English:

What kind of food do you like?


There were all kinds of people there.


The study is the first of its kind in Ireland.

▪ sort especially British English a type of person or thing. Sort is less formal than type , and is used especially in everyday British English:

What sort of person is she?


I like all sorts of music.

▪ form one type of something from all the ones that are possible – used especially when things have different physical characteristics, or in certain fixed phrases:

There are many forms of heart disease.


Melanoma is a form of skin cancer.


The first primitive life forms consumed various materials, including hydrogen sulfide, and released oxygen.


In those days, horses were the commonest form of transport.


We need to use alternative forms of energy.


a popular form of entertainment

▪ variety a type that is slightly different from others in the same group:

The French make many varieties of cheese.


This is a new variety of apple.

▪ species a type of plant or animal, which can breed together to produce plants or animals of the same type:

These forests contain many species of trees.


The giant panda is an endangered species.

▪ of a ... nature formal used when talking about a particular type of thing:

Many people find it embarrassing to discuss problems of a sexual nature.


Minor incidents of this nature normally occur about once a month.

▪ category a group of people or things that are all of the same type – used when there is a clear system for deciding which group something belongs to:

The three major categories of rock are: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.


She won the best actress category at the Oscars.

▪ brand used when talking about the particular way that someone does something or thinks about something, when this is very different from that of other people:

She has her own special brand of humour.


He has called for a more positive brand of politics.

▪ genre formal a type of art, music, literature etc. that has a particular style or feature:

He has written novels in several genres, most notably science fiction.

II. form 2 S2 W1 BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ form , ↑ formation , ↑ transformation , ↑ reformer , ↑ reform , ↑ reformation , ↑ reformist , ↑ transformer , ↑ formlessness ; verb : ↑ form , ↑ reform , ↑ transform ; adjective : reformed, ↑ reformist , ↑ formless ; adverb : ↑ formlessly ]

1 . ESTABLISH [transitive] to establish an organization, committee, government etc ⇨ formation :

The winning party will form the government.

CARE was formed in 1946 and helps the poor in 38 countries.

2 . BE PART OF SOMETHING [linking verb] to be the thing, or one of the things, that is part of something else, often having a particular use:

Love and trust should form the basis of a marriage.

The project forms part of a larger project investigating the history of the cinema.

The river formed a natural boundary between the two countries.

3 . START TO EXIST [intransitive and transitive] to start to exist, or make something start to exist, especially as the result of a natural process ⇨ formation :

The rocks were formed more than 4,000 million years ago.

By midnight ice was already forming on the roads.

Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide combine to form acid rain.

4 . MAKE/PRODUCE [transitive] to make something by combining two or more parts:

In English the past tense of a verb is usually formed by adding ‘ed’.

5 . SHAPE/LINE [intransitive and transitive] to come together in a particular shape or line, or to make something have a particular shape SYN make :

Film-goers began to form a line outside the cinema.

Cut off the corners of the square to form a diamond.

6 . RELATIONSHIP [transitive] to establish and develop a relationship with someone:

She seemed incapable of forming any relationships.

On returning to Boston, she formed a close friendship with her aunt.

7 . form an opinion/impression/idea to use available information to develop or reach an opinion or idea:

She formed the opinion that one of the pupils was bullying the other.

8 . INFLUENCE [transitive] to have a strong influence on how someone’s character develops and the type of person they become SYN mould ⇨ formative :

Events in early childhood often help to form our personalities in later life.

• • •


▪ make used about things you make yourself, or things that are made in a factory:

Diane makes all her own clothes.


My camera was made in China.

▪ produce to make something in large quantities to be sold, or to make something as the result of a natural process:

The factory produces high-quality steel.


Japan produces some of the most advanced mobile phones.


The pancreas is a gland in your body which produces hormones.

▪ create to make something new and original:

Tarantino created a whole new style of films.


Many companies invest a lot of money in creating new products.


Potter was famous for creating characters such as ‘Peter Rabbit’.


This technique is used to create images of beautiful forests.

▪ manufacture to make machines, cars, equipment etc in factories:

The company manufactures aircraft parts.

▪ mass-produce to make very large quantities of something in a factory:

They developed a way to mass-produce the drug.

▪ develop to design and make something new over a period of time:

In 1962, Enders developed an effective vaccine against measles.


The company is developing new anti-virus software.

▪ form to make something as the result of a natural process or chemical reaction:

Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water.


The research will help us understand how planets are formed.

▪ generate to make something such as heat, electricity, or power:

Wind can be used to generate electricity.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.