form ( forms plural & 3rd person present) ( forming present participle) ( formed past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A formof something is a type or kind of it.
with supp, oft N of n
He contracted a rare form of cancer..., Doctors are willing to take some form of industrial action..., I am against hunting in any form.
2 n-count When something can exist or happen in several possible ways, you can use form to refer to one particular way in which it exists or happens.
with supp, oft N of n
Valleys often take the form of deep canyons..., They received a benefit in the form of a tax reduction...
3 verb When a particular shape forms or is formed, people or things move or are arranged so that this shape is made.
A queue forms outside Peter's study... V
They formed a circle and sang `Auld Lang Syne'... V n
The General gave orders for the cadets to form into lines. V into n, Also V n into n
4 n-count The form of something is its shape.
...the form of the body.
5 n-count You can refer to something that you can see as a form if you cannot see it clearly, or if its outline is the clearest or most striking aspect of it.
usu with supp
She thought she'd never been so glad to see his bulky form.
6 verb If something is arranged or changed so that it becomes similar to a thing with a particular structure or function, you can say that it forms that thing.
These panels folded up to form a screen some five feet tall... V n
7 verb If something consists of particular things, people, or features, you can say that they form that thing.
Cereals form the staple diet of an enormous number of people around the world. V n
8 verb If you form an organization, group, or company, you start it.
They tried to form a study group on human rights... V n
They formed themselves into teams. V pron-refl into n
9 verb When something natural forms or is formed, it begins to exist and develop.
The stars must have formed 10 to 15 billion years ago... V
Huge ice sheets were formed. be V-ed
10 verb If you form a relationship, a habit, or an idea, or if it forms, it begins to exist and develop.
This should help him form lasting relationships... V n
An idea formed in his mind. V
11 verb If you say that something forms a person's character or personality, you mean that it has a strong influence on them and causes them to develop in a particular way.
Anger at injustice formed his character. V n
12 n-uncount In sport, form refers to the ability or success of a person or animal over a period of time.
usu supp N
His form this season has been brilliant...
13 n-count A form is a paper with questions on it and spaces marked where you should write the answers. Forms usually ask you to give details about yourself, for example when you are applying for a job or joining an organization.
You will be asked to fill in a form with details of your birth and occupation., ...application forms.
15 If you say that it is bad form to behave in a particular way, you mean that it is rude and impolite.
bad form phrase usu PHR after v, v-link PHR
It was thought bad form to discuss business on social occasions.
16 If you say that someone is in good form, you mean that they seem healthy and cheerful.
in good form phrase v-link PHR
17 If you say that someone is off form, you think they are not performing as well as they usually do.
off form phrase v-link PHR
18 If you say that someone is on form, you think that they are performing their usual activity very well.
on form phrase v-link PHR
Robert Redford is back on form in his new movie `Sneakers'.
19 When something takes form, it develops or begins to be visible.
take form phrase V inflects
As plans took form in her mind, she realized the need for an accomplice..., The face of Mrs Lisbon took form in the dimness.
20 If someone or something behaves true to form, they do what is expected and is typical of them.
true to form phrase v PHR, PHR with cl My luck was running true to form..., True to form, she kept her guests waiting for more than 90 minutes.
art form ( art forms plural ) If you describe an activity as an art form, you mean that it is concerned with creating objects, works, or performances that are beautiful or have a serious meaning. n-count
...Indian dance and related art forms.
combining form ( combining forms plural ) A combining form is a word that is used, or used with a particular meaning, only when joined to another word. For example, `-legged' as in `four-legged' and `-fold' as in `fivefold' are combining forms. n-count
free form , free-form
A free form work of art or piece of music has not been created according to a standard style or convention. adj ADJ n
life form ( life forms plural ) A life form is any living thing such as an animal or plant. n-count with supp
re-form ( re-forms 3rd person present) ( re-forming present participle) ( re-formed past tense & past participle ) , reform When an organization, group, or shape re-forms, or when someone re-forms it, it is created again after a period during which it did not exist or existed in a different form. verb
The official trades union council voted to disband itself and re-form as a confederation... V
The 40-year-old singer reformed his band. V n
sixth form ( sixth forms plural ) , sixth-form The sixth form in a British school consists of the classes that pupils go to from 16 to 18 years of age, usually in order to study for A levels. n-count usu sing
She was offered her first modelling job while she was still in the sixth-form...