/ fɔːm; NAmE fɔːrm/ noun , verb
[ C ] a type or variety of sth :
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
WAY STH IS / LOOKS
[ C , U ] the particular way sth 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.
[ C ] an official document containing questions and spaces for answers :
an application / entry / order form
( especially BrE )
to fill in a form
( especially NAmE )
to fill out a form
I filled in / out a form on their website.
to complete a form
( BrE )
a booking form
( NAmE )
a reservation form
[ C ] the shape of sb/sth; 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.
ARRANGEMENT OF PARTS
[ U ] the arrangement of parts in a whole, especially in a work of art or piece of writing :
In a novel form and content are equally important.
BEING FIT / HEALTHY
[ U ] ( BrE ) how fit and healthy sb 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 .
[ U ] how well sb/sth is performing; the fact that sb/sth 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.
WAY OF DOING THINGS
[ U , C ] ( especially BrE ) the usual way of doing sth :
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 .
[ U ] good / bad ~ ( old-fashioned , BrE ) the way of doing things that is socially acceptable / not socially acceptable
[ C ] 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
( BrE , old-fashioned ) a class in a school :
Who's your form teacher?
—see also sixth form
-former (in compounds) ( BrE , old-fashioned ) a student in the form mentioned at school :
—see also sixth-former
- take form
—more at shape noun
START TO EXIST
( especially of natural things ) to begin to exist and gradually develop into a particular shape; to make sth begin to exist in a particular shape :
[ v ]
Flowers appeared, but fruits failed to form.
Storm clouds are forming on the horizon.
[ vn ]
These hills were formed by glaciation.
to start to exist and develop; to make sth start to exist and develop :
[ v ]
A plan formed in my head.
[ vn ]
I formed many close friendships at college.
I didn't see enough of the play to form an opinion about it.
➡ note at make
MAKE SHAPE / FORM
[ vn ] [ often passive ] form sth (into sth) | form sth (from / of sth) to produce sth in a particular way or make it have a particular shape :
Form the dough into balls with your hands.
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?
The chain is formed from 136 links.
( formal )
form (sb/sth) (up) (into sth) 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 :
[ vn ]
to form a line / queue / circle
First get students to form groups of four.
[ v ]
Queues were already forming outside the theatre.
The teams formed up into lines.
HAVE FUNCTION / ROLE
[ vn ] to have a particular function or pattern :
The trees form a natural protection from the sun's rays.
linking verb [ v - n ] to be sth :
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.
to start a group of people, such as an organization, a committee, etc.; to come together in a group of this kind :
[ vn ]
They hope to form the new government.
He formed a band with some friends from school.
a newly-formed political party
[ v ]
The band formed in 2003.
HAVE INFLUENCE ON
[ vn ] to have an influence on the way that sth develops
SYN mould :
Positive and negative experiences form a child's character.
Middle English : from Old French forme (noun), fo(u)rmer (verb, from Latin formare to form), both based on Latin forma a mould or form.