Meaning of “format” in the English Dictionary

"format" in British English

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formatnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈfɔː.mæt/ us /ˈfɔːr.mæt/

C1 a pattern, plan, or arrangement:

The meeting will have the usual format - introductory session, group work and then a time for reporting back.

C1 the way in which information is arranged and stored on a computer

More examples

  • You can use the device to scan the image and reproduce it on-screen in an electronic format.
  • The new format has unanimous support and could be introduced next season.
  • The document should be saved in ASCII format.
  • The original format of the show has not changed much over the years.
  • The software can support files in a variety of formats.

formatverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfɔː.mæt/ us /ˈfɔːr.mæt/ -tt-

(Definition of “format” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"format" in American English

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formatnoun [ C ]

us /ˈfɔr·mæt/

the way in which something is shown or arranged:

The two candidates could not agree on the format of the TV debate.

formatverb [ T ]

us /ˈfɔr·mæt/ -tt-

If you format a text or a disk on a computer, you organize it according to chosen patterns.

(Definition of “format” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"format" in Business English

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formatnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈfɔːmæt/ us

the size, design, materials, etc. used for a document, book, photo, etc.:

The report should provide clear and concise information in a format designed to communicate the information effectively.
Documents must be submitted in paper format.
audio/digital/electronic format Once the photos are in a digital format, they can be edited.

IT the arrangement of information in a computer file:

The program supports all of the major image file formats.
To view reports in PDF format, Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.

the way in which an activity, event, etc. is arranged or presented:

Whatever form the conference takes next year, it is likely to be different to the format used this year.

formatverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfɔːmæt/ us formatting, formatted, formats IT

to prepare a computer disk for use in a particular type of computer

to organize the way text, pictures, etc. will appear, especially on a computer:

Here are some tips on how to format the document.

(Definition of “format” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)