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1. external appearance of a clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material; configuration: a triangular form.
2. the shape of a thing or person.
3. a body, esp. that of a human being.
4. a dummy having the same measurements as a human body, used for fitting or displaying clothing: a dressmaker's form.
5. something that gives or determines shape; a mold.
6. a particular condition, character, or mode in which something appears: water in the form of ice.
7. the manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result, as in literary or musical composition: a unique form for the novel.
8. Fine Arts.
a. the organization, placement, or relationship of basic elements, as lines and colors in a painting or volumes and voids in a sculpture, so as to produce a coherent image; the formal structure of a work of art.
b. three-dimensional quality or volume, as of a represented object or anatomical part.
c. an object, person, or part of the human body or the appearance of any of these, esp. as seen in nature: His work is characterized by the radical distortion of the human form.
9. any assemblage of things of a similar kind constituting a component of a group, especially of a zoological group.
10. Crystall.the combination of all the like faces possible on a crystal of given symmetry.
11. due or proper shape; orderly arrangement of parts; good order.
a. the structure, pattern, organization, or essential nature of anything.
b. structure or pattern as distinguished from matter.
c. (cap.) Platonism.idea (def. 7c).
d. Aristotelianism.that which places a thing in its particular species or kind.
13. Logic.the abstract relations of terms in a proposition, and of propositions to one another.
14. a set, prescribed, or customary order or method of doing something.
15. a set order of words, as for use in religious ritual or in a legal document: a form for initiating new members.
16. a document with blank spaces to be filled in with particulars before it is executed: a tax form.
17. a typical document to be used as a guide in framing others for like cases: a form for a deed.
18. a conventional method of procedure or behavior: society's forms.
19. a formality or ceremony, often with implication of absence of real meaning: to go through the outward forms of a religious wedding.
20. procedure according to a set order or method.
21. conformity to the usages of society; formality; ceremony: the elaborate forms prevalent in the courts of renaissance kings.
22. procedure or conduct, as judged by social standards: Such behavior is very bad form. Good form demands that we go.
23. manner or method of performing something; technique: The violin soloist displayed tremendous form.
24. physical condition or fitness, as for performing: a tennis player in peak form.
a. a word, part of a word, or group of words forming a construction that recurs in various contexts in a language with relatively constant meaning. Cf. linguistic form.
b. a particular shape of such a form that occurs in more than one shape. In I'm, 'm is a form of am.
c. a word with a particular inflectional ending or other modification. Goes is a form of go.
26. Ling.the shape or pattern of a word or other construction (distinguished from substance).
27. Building Trades.temporary boarding or sheeting of plywood or metal for giving a desired shape to poured concrete, rammed earth, etc.
28. a grade or class of pupils in a British secondary school or in certain U.S. private schools: boys in the fourth form.
29. Brit.a bench or long seat.
30. Also, Brit.,forme. Print.an assemblage of types, leads, etc., secured in a chase to print from.
1. to construct or frame.
2. to make or produce.
3. to serve to make up; serve as; compose; constitute: The remaining members will form the program committee.
4. to place in order; arrange; organize.
5. to frame (ideas, opinions, etc.) in the mind.
6. to contract or develop (habits, friendships, etc.).
7. to give form or shape to; shape; fashion.
8. to give a particular form or shape to; fashion in a particular manner: Form the dough into squares.
9. to mold or develop by discipline or instructions: The sergeant's job was to form boys into men.
a. to make (a derivation) by some grammatical change: The suffix “-ly” forms adverbs from adjectives.
b. to have (a grammatical feature) represented in a particular shape: English forms plurals in “-s”.
11. Mil.to draw up in lines or in formation.
1. to take or assume form.
2. to be formed or produced: Ice began to form on the window.
3. to take a particular form or arrangement: The ice formed in patches across the window.
a combining form meaning “having the form of ”: cruciform.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.