Definition of “form” - English Dictionary

“form” in English

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uk /fɔːm/ us /fɔːrm/

B2 [ I or T ] to begin to exist or to make something begin to exist:

A crowd formed around the accident.
A solution began to form in her mind.
I formed the impression (= the way she behaved suggested to me) that she didn't really want to come.

[ T ] to make something into a particular shape:

She formed the clay into a small bowl.

B1 [ L only + noun ] to make or be something:

The lorries formed a barricade across the road.
Together they would form the next government.
This information formed the basis of the report.

[ I ] formal If separate things form, they come together to make a whole:

The children formed into lines.

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uk /fɔːm/ us /fɔːrm/

form noun (DOCUMENT)

A2 [ C ] a paper or set of papers printed with spaces in which answers to questions can be written or information can be recorded in an organized way:

an application form (= document used for asking officially for something, for example a job)
an entry form (= document used to enter a competition)
Please fill in/out the form with black ink.
When you have completed the form, hand it in at the desk.

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form noun (TYPE)

B2 [ C ] a type of something:

Swimming is the best form of exercise.

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form noun (SHAPE)

C1 [ C ] the shape or appearance of something:

I could just about make out his sleeping form on the bed.
The moon highlighted the shadowy forms of the hills.
The lawn was laid out in the form of the figure eight.
take form

to gradually be seen or gradually develop:

Trees and hedges started to take form as the fog cleared.
As they chatted, the idea of going skiing together gradually took form.

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form noun (ABILITY)

[ U ] A competitor's form is their ability to be successful over a period of time:

Both horses have shown good form over the last season.
After a bad year, she has regained her form.
be on good, great, etc. form C2 UK US be in good, great, etc. form

to be feeling or performing well:

Paul was on good form at the wedding and kept everyone entertained.

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

“form” in American English

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us /fɔrm/

form verb (COME TOGETHER)

[ I/T ] to come together and make a particular order or shape:

[ T ] Please form a single line.
[ T ] The geese flying overhead formed a V-shaped pattern.

form verb (BEGIN HAVING)

[ T ] to begin to have:

I formed the opinion that I was not really welcome there any more.

form verb (BEGIN)

[ T ] to begin something, esp. organizing people or things:

We formed a community group to help people who are sick or disabled.
They formed a new publishing company.

form noun (TYPE)

us /fɔrm/ [ C ] a type or kind of something, or the particular way in which something exists:

I was always more interested in poetry than in other forms of literature.
She has a mild form of the flu and should be OK in a few days.
The medicine comes in the form of a liquid or pills.


us /fɔrm/ [ C ] the shape or appearance of something:

The stadium was in the form of a circle.

form noun (DOCUMENT)

us /fɔrm/ [ C ] something, usually paper, that has spaces marked where you fill in information:

Fill out an application form and we will let you know if a job opens up.

form noun (ART/MUSIC)

literature /fɔrm/ [ C ] the organization, shape, and structure of a written work

art, music /fɔrm/ [ C ] Form in a work of art or piece of music is the design or arrangement of it that it shares with other works of the same type

form noun (BEHAVIOR)

us /fɔrm/ [ U ] the way in which someone does something:

He was in great form and won the golf tournament by 7 strokes.

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

“form” in Business English

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formnoun [ C ]

uk /fɔːm/ us

also US blank a document printed with spaces in which to write answers or information:

fill in/out a form You will need to fill in form FW 20, available from your Social Security office.
You will be required to sign several forms.


uk /fɔːm/ us

[ I or T ] to create a company, organization, etc.:

form a business/company/firm They joined together to form their own garment company.
form a committee/agency/task force The council President formed the committee when the number of complaints jumped from around 50 per month to nearly 1,200.

[ T ] to develop a successful relationship with a person, organization, or country, especially for a particular purpose:

form a coalition/partnership/alliance A regional Latino business coalition was formed to seek ways to fight the measures.

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