Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: forme, from Latin forma, perhaps from Greek morphe 'form, shape'


1 noun
form1 S1 W1


[countable] a particular type of something that exists in many different varieties
form of
a severe form of cancer
The bicycle is an environment-friendly form of transport.
the art forms of the twentieth century

way something is/appears

[countable] the way something is or appears to be:
We oppose racism in all its forms.
in the form of something
People are bombarded with information in the form of TV advertising.
Vitamin C can be taken in capsule or tablet form.
A typical training programme takes the form of a series of workshops.


[countable] a shape
form of
the shadowy forms of the divers swimming below the boat
in the form of something
The main staircase was in the form of a big 'S'.
The female form is a thing of beauty.


[countable] an official document with spaces where you write information, especially about yourself:
Application forms are available from the college.
Just complete the entry form (=write the answers to the questions on a form) and return it.
fill in/out a form (=write the answers to the questions on a form)
Fill in the form and send it back with your cheque.


[uncountable]A the structure of a work of art or piece of writing, rather than the ideas it expresses, events it describes etc:
the distinction between form and content


[uncountable]DS how well a sports person, team, musician etc is performing, or has performed recently:
I have been greatly encouraged by the team's recent form.
on present/current/past etc form
On current form he's one of the top three players in the country.
in good/fine/great form
He's been in good form all this season.
He had no qualms about dropping players he thought were off form (=not performing well).


[countable] British EnglishSES a class in a school
first/second/sixth etc form
examinations taken in the fourth form
form teacher


[countable]SLG a way of writing or saying a word that shows its number, tense etc. For example, 'was' is a past form of the verb 'to be'.

criminal record

[uncountable] British English informal if someone has form, they are known to the police because they have committed crimes in the past

bad form

old-fashioned behaviour that is considered to be socially unacceptable [= bad manners]:
It used to be considered bad form to talk about money.

form of words

a way of expressing something official [= wording]:
The precise form of words has been agreed by the 12 heads of government.

be in good/fine/great etc form

also be on good/fine/great etc form British English to be full of confidence and energy, so that you do something well or talk in an interesting or amusing way:
Michelle was in great form at last week's conference.

take form

a) to begin to exist or develop:
The womb represents the very first place in which life takes form.
b) to start to become a particular shape:
As the men worked, I watched the ship's hull take form.

➔ true to form

at true1 (7)

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