verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Bring together parts or combine to create (something)

    ‘the company was formed in 1982’
    ‘peasants and miners were formed into a militia’
    • ‘Seven officers have formed an Arson Reduction Team whose aim is to educate people and demonstrate the consequences of arson.’
    • ‘We hoped that, by banding together and forming a group to take united action, we could take a hand in shaping the future of our own community.’
    • ‘When the European Union was formed, it had six countries, and three of them were French-speaking.’
    • ‘A strike committee has been formed and any votes cast will be by way of secret ballot.’
    • ‘Those who wanted issues resolved in a constitutional manner formed a Home Rule party in 1870.’
    • ‘No one had any real idea of how to form an inclusive and representational government.’
    • ‘In 1974, the FBI formed its Behavioral Science Unit to investigate serial rape and homicide cases.’
    • ‘The growing need for cooperation and integration among Asian countries dictates that East Asian countries get together and move toward forming one community.’
    • ‘Some composers, notably Stockhausen, formed their own publishing companies.’
    • ‘The club's many supporters may wish to form a Trust and proceed on that basis.’
    • ‘Neighbours have already got together and formed a community association, which in all but name is a crime fighting force.’
    • ‘The five local lads who got together and formed a band last year, are very popular with locals for 21st birthday parties etc.’
    • ‘A task team will be formed to ensure the plans are implemented and to draw up a budget to put before the council.’
    • ‘The group agreed it was a great idea and formed a registered non-profit society.’
    • ‘The PCB has also announced the dissolution of provincial cricket associations that were formed on an experimental basis in 2003.’
    • ‘The meeting followed an earlier one at which a committee had been formed to draw up rules.’
    • ‘All of these patients heard of Dr. Philippe by word of mouth and they have formed their own informal support groups so that they can help each other.’
    • ‘In 1909, these immigrants and some Americans formed an organization named the Indo-American Association.’
    • ‘Together they have formed a unique company that has played a key role in bringing the Asian experience to the forefront of British Theatre.’
    • ‘They will move to a new, central squad, which is being formed specifically to crack down on street crime.’
    set up, devise, establish, found, launch, float, create, bring into being, put in place, organize, institute, start, begin, get going, initiate, bring about, inaugurate, lay the foundations of
    arrange, draw up, line up, assemble, organize, sort, order, range, array, dispose, marshal, deploy, gather, group, place, position, rank, grade
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Go to make up or constitute.
      ‘the precepts which form the basis of the book’
      • ‘It seems to me that these four reasons form a rather weak basis for his claim.’
      • ‘Examination of the chart shape forms a very useful part of any basic reading of the horoscope.’
      • ‘The impressive group of works which forms the core of the exhibition is accompanied by others less prepossessing and of sometimes doubtful relevance.’
      • ‘Overall, these arguments form a relatively small - but important - part of the book.’
      • ‘It maintains evolution and forms the very basis of cosmic life.’
      • ‘The report will form part of a strategy to help advise governments on diet, physical activity and health.’
      • ‘Reproductions of wallpapers and carpets that might have been used in the house in the early nineteenth century form the backdrop for the museum's collection.’
      • ‘The Sligo service forms part of the airline's route to the north west.’
      • ‘It formed an important formative influence on the young Tagore.’
      • ‘The diary he kept during his time on smack eventually formed the basis for Trainspotting.’
      • ‘The nuclear family, although forming the smallest kin unit, is always socially embedded in a wider kin unit.’
      • ‘The arts centre will form the centrepiece of the community's art and crafts industry.’
      • ‘The music is superb, noble and inspiring, especially the choruses which form the backbone of the work.’
      • ‘The present compilation combines aspects of both the flamboyant virtuoso and the profound spiritualist that together formed the personality of Franz Liszt.’
      • ‘Traditional medicine still forms an essential part of rural health care for most people here.’
      • ‘These rocks also occur beneath the Lagan Valley and the line of mountains forming the Antrim hills.’
      • ‘He published this method in 1919, and it also formed the basis of his seminal paper on the scattering of plane electric waves by spheres.’
      • ‘It is not my role to agree with any proposition about the ideal family relationship that forms the best environment for raising children.’
      • ‘The Queen has paid for 33 clematis plants which will form the central path up to the marquee at her garden party on August 8 this year.’
      • ‘Together they form one of the most original and dramatic works of architecture of the period anywhere in Europe.’
      comprise, make, make up, constitute, compose, add up to, account for, represent
      constitute, serve as, act as, function as, perform the function of, do duty for, make, embody, compose, comprise
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    2. 1.2no object Gradually appear or develop.
      ‘a thick mist was forming all around’
      • ‘All day Sunday, a plan had been forming in my mind.’
      • ‘As Dani was translating the words, tears formed in her grandmother's eyes.’
      • ‘Conservatism is about pragmatism and respect for the established order which has formed over many generations.’
      • ‘The tubers will form on the surface of the soil, or just below.’
      • ‘A plan formed in his mind, but he did not have much time to think it over.’
      • ‘Incredible temperatures would have occurred as the sun, the nine known planets, and the thousands of other bodies that orbit the sun gradually formed.’
      • ‘He blushed at his admission and I wondered at the shy relationship that had formed between my two friends.’
      • ‘But when we started to sing, a few passers-by began turning their heads in curiosity and gradually a crowd formed and some even sang with us.’
      • ‘Small beads of sweat were now forming on my forehead.’
      • ‘Mix to combine and set aside for five minutes, or until small bubbles form on the surface.’
      • ‘You should clean these feeders every three days to ensure that mold does not form.’
      • ‘An idea slowly began forming in the back of my mind.’
      • ‘In 1976, he calculated that once a black hole forms, it starts losing mass by radiating energy.’
      • ‘Although the light was very dim, I began to see shapes forming in the darkness around me.’
      • ‘Dip a glass into water and see if droplets form on the surface.’
      • ‘Despite this, an establishment consensus has already formed on the task at hand.’
      • ‘He ran his thumb tenderly over the bruise already forming on her face.’
      • ‘He smiled slowly to himself, the plan forming gradually in his mind.’
      • ‘When the flowers begin to fade and before a seed pod forms, cut the flower head, being careful to leave the foliage to die back naturally.’
      • ‘It is caused when blood clots form in deep veins in the legs, moving to block the blood vessels of vital organs.’
      materialize, come into being, come into existence, crystallize, emerge, spring up, develop
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    3. 1.3 Conceive (an idea) in one's mind.
      ‘to form a judgement he seeks further information’
      • ‘Margaret remains a person of fixed tastes and opinions which were formed very early.’
      • ‘Needless to say, she had formed a rather negative opinion based on what she had seen at the prison.’
      • ‘Completely different opinions may be formed if there's no channel for interaction and communication.’
      • ‘Individual councillors sought advice and formed their own judgement about whether or not they could take part.’
      • ‘While the idea was still being formed, however, something happened to him.’
      • ‘On the basis of its own investigations the landlord formed an honestly held belief that this tenant would detrimentally affect the mall.’
      • ‘The probability is, however, that Gough has already formed a pretty good idea of where he will be going and that only the final details remain to be settled.’
      • ‘I shook whatever ideas I had been forming out of my mind and pressed the small white button that I assumed was the doorbell.’
      • ‘And how can you trust your teenage opinion of people, when those opinions were being formed via rampaging hormones and juvenile mood swings?’
      • ‘Before the jurors leave, the judge instructs them to not discuss the case, as their opinion should not be formed before all testimony is heard.’
      • ‘More extensive studies must be performed before any concrete theory can be formed.’
      • ‘He was given a contract lasting 18 months, but appreciated opinions would be formed about his ability to make the transition from playing long before that.’
      • ‘You may find it would broaden the mind if you formed your opinions on the world by means other than the Daily Mail.’
      • ‘Of course, there must also be those who would disagree with my position, having formed an equally strong but opposite opinion.’
      • ‘As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.’
      • ‘I formed the impression that my husband was not close to his relatives, given the disparaging way he spoke about them.’
      • ‘In 1995 he formed the idea of organising an exhibition in Greenwich to celebrate the Millennium.’
      • ‘My previous opinion had been formed after hearing a Clarence Valley bird expert talking on local ABC Radio.’
      • ‘Hence there is no sense of the possibility of individuals forming their own moral judgements about right and wrong.’
      • ‘Many of my opinions have been formed and informed by African American life.’
      formulate, devise, conceive, work out, think up, prepare, make ready, get ready, work up, lay, draw up, put together, produce, fashion, concoct, construct, frame, forge, hatch, develop, organize
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    4. 1.4 Establish (a relationship)
      ‘the women would form supportive friendships’
      • ‘He has worked with many players from the current squad already, and has formed a close bond with them.’
      • ‘During the 2-year course at the college, the students formed strong bonds with each other and their mentors.’
      • ‘Most of them have formed a lasting, positive network.’
      • ‘That result may help explain the difficulties many of these children have in forming secure relationships.’
      • ‘Those who did not like me just let me get on with my life, conversely, I formed some very strong friendships, none of which depended upon answers to the homework or lifts in the car.’
      • ‘Daladier often poured out his heart to Bullitt in this way, and formed an extremely close relationship with him.’
      • ‘Walpole had served George I for many years and George II soon formed an equally successful relationship with him.’
      • ‘During this briefer spell he formed a mutually enriching friendship with Gustav Holst.’
      • ‘The numbers of folks I interacted with there and the lasting relationships I formed were just great.’
      • ‘Autism is a cruel condition that shuts children away in their own world and prevents them forming normal friendships and relationships.’
      • ‘For a while many settled down and formed relationships with local women.’
      • ‘She was glad to make friends with him, despite the tense circumstances under which the relationship had been formed.’
      • ‘It seemed odd, these relationships having been formed out of seemingly nothing.’
      • ‘He has difficulty forming intimate or trusting relationships.’
      • ‘Alliances can be quickly formed, and supportive friendships quickly made.’
      • ‘Lucky for us, the relationships that we formed allowed us a lot of freedom to explore what was really going on.’
      • ‘Similar relationships have been formed with all foreign suppliers with whom they import directly.’
      • ‘Subsequently, an authentic relationship must be formed with each student, each semester.’
      • ‘We've formed a very good relationship that's like a family to me.’
      • ‘The researchers speculated that separation from parents might hinder the chances of forming intimate relationships as an adult.’
    5. 1.5 Articulate (a word or other linguistic unit).
      • ‘I tried to talk but I couldn't quite concentrate on single words or forming complete sentences at the moment.’
      • ‘He felt the impulse to shout. His lips began to form the words.’
      • ‘He stared at the jury foreman's face, watched as his mouth formed the word ‘not’, but still he felt nothing other than anger.’
      • ‘With the lips and tongue, teeth help form words by controlling air flow out of the mouth.’
      • ‘She spoke very precisely, every word formed and enunciated with perfect diction.’
      • ‘His lips kept forming the same words over and over again.’
    6. 1.6 Construct (a new word) by derivation or inflection.
      • ‘New words are formed in a variety of ways, some of which overlap with each other.’
      • ‘And for these writers, gingerly is pretty clearly just a common-or-garden adverb formed in ly.’
      • ‘This was formed in the sixteenth century from the verb disable, but the corresponding adjective abled seems not to have been used at that time.’
      • ‘A number of other terms have been formed in the past two decades using tourism or tourist as one of the elements.’
      • ‘The word was formed by a rather circuitous route, according to the OED's etymological information.’
      • ‘Most people only know a very few of the more common words formed using the suffix phobia.’
      • ‘Although they often belong in clusters, complex words are usually formed one at a time in accordance with more or less established patterns.’
  • 2Make or be made into a specific shape or form.

    with object ‘form the dough into balls’
    no object ‘his features formed into a smile of pleasure’
    • ‘I arrived there late in the evening just as the smoke from the village fires was forming a perfect horizontal line above the fields.’
    • ‘The film also shows multiple shots of two adult penguins cuddling side by side, their beaks touching and forming almost a heart shape.’
    • ‘With the mirrors facing inwards, tape the 3 cardboards together to form a triangular container.’
    • ‘Add the oil, rosemary, flour and salt and bring together to form a dough.’
    • ‘This clay was formed into a pot, mainly by building it up from layers of rings which are smoothed together by hand or on a wheel.’
    • ‘Bronwen stopped and brought her hands together, forming a steeple with her long fingers.’
    • ‘Bricks are made from clay and other materials which are formed into shapes then fired in a kiln to make them strong and durable.’
    • ‘The light surrounded the boy, and formed into the shape of a Chinese dragon.’
    • ‘With the boulevard Massena, they form a triangle of broad, leafy streets that defines Paris' Asian quarter.’
    • ‘Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and bring together to form a firm dough.’
    • ‘Dairiseki looked up, and her eyebrows pulled tightly together, forming a crease in the center of her forehead.’
    • ‘Mix everything together lightly but thoroughly, then form the mixture into 4 plump patties.’
    • ‘Wet your hands well with cold water, and form the mixture into small, flattened sausage shapes about 8cm long.’
    • ‘The mixture is heated over a low fire, then formed into shape and cooled.’
    • ‘As she edged closer, she could see shapes forming in the centre of each light.’
    • ‘The shoulders of the dress hung off Isabelle's shoulders and the sleeves went all the way down her arm forming a ‘v’ shape on the top of each hand.’
    • ‘Due to the karst topography, rocks and caves along the river have formed in strange shapes, stimulating the imagination of sightseers.’
    • ‘His own lips were slightly parted, forming a small ‘o’ shape.’
    • ‘One of stone's great beauties is that it can be shaped and formed in any way you like.’
    • ‘His lips formed into a thin line when he saw Jason wrap his arm around me.’
    make, fashion, shape, model, mould, forge, found, cast, sculpt, hew, carve
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    1. 2.1be formed Have a specified shape.
      ‘her body was slight and flawlessly formed’
      • ‘The chapel was small but perfectly formed, constructed like a miniature church.’
      • ‘Superbly formed and highly expressive, these extraordinary buildings emerge from the most basic of materials, earth and water, and in the harshest of conditions.’
      • ‘The UK, small but perfectly formed is a great place to be a mountain biker.’
      • ‘The hands themselves were beautifully formed, so white they seemed carved of alabaster.’
      • ‘Her face was perfectly formed with high cheekbones and tanned smooth skin.’
    2. 2.2form people/things up" or "form upMilitary Bring or be brought into a certain formation.
      ‘Mortimer formed up his troops for the march’
      • ‘The men form up on the Green as the sound of marching British troops is heard.’
      • ‘The rest of my unit got out of the train of hummers, and formed up behind me.’
      • ‘The Detachments marching in the Procession are formed up in The Mall, Marlborough Road and Cleveland Row.’
      • ‘The Roman fleet formed up in an unusual formation that proved to be very effective.’
      • ‘After lunch we formed up and practised our parade drill and made sure that everyone knew what was going on; when the time came for the real thing we were all ready for it.’
      • ‘The regular fighters were deploying out of the other bays, and forming up in the standard offensive formation ahead of the bigger ships.’
      • ‘The 10th Battalion and 16th Battalion formed up for the counter-attack in the assembly positions.’
      • ‘The defenders formed up in a V-shaped formation.’
      • ‘Thursday we formed up the cars and drove to Colonial Williamsburg, maybe two miles away.’
      • ‘He quickly formed his army up to meet an attack, but his crossbowmen were still on the other side of the river.’
      • ‘I immediately ran away from the aircraft to where the rest of the crew had formed up.’
      • ‘They took position on the high ground and watched government troops form up on the slopes below.’
      • ‘He took up his staff and stepped into the middle of the clearing, standing before the ranks of troops that had formed up to finish off the rebels.’
      • ‘The Austrians were formed up in a strong position 4 miles wide, in an area of rolling country, with the village of Leuthen at their centre, and their flanks protected by marshy ground.’
      • ‘The general snapped his fingers twice, and the soldiers formed up into a dense phalanx.’
      • ‘The defenders fired from the walls, but the artillery breached a gate and when the storming party formed up, the defenders departed, leaving the city to be taken.’
      • ‘And while the rebels formed up on the ridge, the royalists did the same some 500 yards away - out of shot from the dreaded longbows.’
      • ‘They formed up in three squadron lines, 1100m across, 300 metres apart and with 4 to 5 m between horsemen.’
      • ‘Believing that easy pickings were in store, the American warships formed up and closed range.’
      • ‘‘We must form up our troops and attack while we still have the advantage of surprise’ Jacomus added.’
    3. 2.3 Influence (something abstract)
      ‘the role of the news media in forming public opinion’
      • ‘The feminist view of useless men may be extreme, but it has been hugely influential. For Gloria Steinem, who grew up with an alcoholic father, it formed her character and launched an entire movement.’
      • ‘Dunn focuses on the upbringing that formed the young women's characters.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, polls are influential in forming public opinion and attitudes.’
      • ‘His politics were formed by his experiences serving in the army and he now lives in London ‘in voluntary exile’.’
      • ‘This leads us to another point in the importance of the legends and folklore in forming and shaping a nation's character.’
      develop, mould, shape, train, teach, instruct, educate, school, tutor, coach, groom, drill, discipline, prime, prepare, guide, direct, inform, verse, enlighten, inculcate, indoctrinate, edify, cultivate, improve, better, uplift, elevate
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