Definition of form in English:

form

noun

  • 1The visible shape or configuration of something.

    ‘the form, colour, and texture of the tree’
    mass noun ‘the flowers of this shrub are remarkable both in form and colour’
    • ‘The powerful roots of the oak demonstrate an earthly reflection of the power of lightning, mirroring its shape and form.’
    • ‘The earliest item is a Viking bronze sword pommel from the late tenth century incised with diamond shapes and simplified animal forms.’
    • ‘Pot-grown orchids provide a stunning indoor display, with a great variety of colour and form.’
    • ‘Cement has been slapped on and ugly box-shaped structures built abutting the graceful forms of the ancient temples.’
    • ‘Both the milk teeth and the permanent teeth give the face its shape and form.’
    • ‘The artist has spent her career exploring abstract shapes and forms, creating paintings that reveal many different kinds of visual sensations.’
    • ‘A person's life in one sense is like a work of art, blending colors, tones, lines, and forms.’
    • ‘A garden that is neglected does not so much cease to bear fruit, as it loses its shape and form.’
    • ‘Crop circles don't just look pretty they express fundamental geometric forms.’
    • ‘In 1915 - 16 she did a series of abstract drawings and watercolours that evoked the natural world in simple forms and vivid colours.’
    • ‘His latest work concentrates on geometric forms, especially from Venetian floor designs.’
    • ‘The building is organised as a series of layers, allowing it to be read as several slender parallel forms.’
    • ‘The shape and form of the bungalow constantly underwent change and adaptation out of functional necessity.’
    • ‘Her home office blends contemporary and geometric shapes with organic forms.’
    • ‘This urban contemporary collection keeps things in perspective with simple forms, clean lines and subtle shapes.’
    • ‘They come in a wonderful variety of shapes, forms and colours.’
    • ‘The exploration of the deployment of pure geometric forms is an ongoing theme in Don Watson's work.’
    • ‘It is the rare gardener who is not smitten by their array of brilliant colors and graceful forms.’
    • ‘One of the nicest seasons of the year is autumn and it reflects itself in many shapes, colours and forms.’
    • ‘Observing the variety of colour, form and aroma of summer flowers can enhance outdoor relaxation.’
    shape, configuration, formation, conformation, structure, construction, arrangement, disposition, appearance, outward appearance, outward form, exterior
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    1. 1.1 The body or shape of a person or animal.
      ‘his eyes scanned her slender form’
      • ‘Pulling her silk robe more tightly around her naked form, Olivia pads over to her night table to pick up a bottle of body lotion.’
      • ‘She wore a skirt of powder blue with an ivory chiffon blouse that heightened her delicate physique and slender form.’
      • ‘I tucked Claire in, sitting beside her sleeping form and stroking back her light hair from her beautiful face.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a long, silver dress that clung to her form.’
      • ‘What she didn't know was the fading sunlight framed her perfect form and gave her hair a fiery glow.’
      • ‘Suddenly, they noticed the form of an animal ahead, leaning down to drink.’
      • ‘He stepped to the side so that his form blocked the door.’
      • ‘He lifted her small, lifeless form into his arms.’
      • ‘The light drew closer and human forms were soon visible, running towards the crowd.’
      • ‘Before him Erik saw a mass of huddled forms in the corner of the room.’
      • ‘His patched clothes hung loosely about his bony form.’
      • ‘She stared after him until his retreating form was no longer discernible through the trees.’
      • ‘Her slender form was a crumpled heap in his arms, with bruises and blood marring her creamy white skin.’
      • ‘He was a lifelong bachelor and was believed to have remained celibate - but did he enjoy painting the naked female form?’
      • ‘Several other shapeless gray forms emerged from the tents inside the camp.’
      • ‘Stepping into the doorway separating the two rooms, he studied her slim form huddled on the couch.’
      • ‘He held her so that she could not move, his strong arms encircled about her slender form.’
      • ‘Just the other night, I must have passed by the sleeping forms of at least 20 people on Park Avenue.’
      • ‘I walked up the stairs and glanced back at his darkened form in the garden.’
      • ‘Soon enough the attackers emerged, their blurred forms now visible under the crimson light.’
      body, shape, figure, silhouette, proportions, stature, build, frame, physique, anatomy
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    2. 1.2mass noun Style, design, and arrangement in an artistic work as distinct from its content.
      ‘these videos are a triumph of form over content’
      • ‘Still, the film is undeniably distinctive, although this is due to style as much as form.’
      • ‘The book reflects the structure of the conference in both form and content in an attempt to capture the dynamism of the event.’
      • ‘Lacking both form and content, Soul Survivors can hardly be called a movie at all.’
      • ‘It is this contrast between form and content that gives the show its constant elan.’
      • ‘The subject is too self-conscious, the Italian still more concerned with form than feeling.’
      • ‘In the argument of content over form or vice-versa, here content dictates form.’
      • ‘It is hard to separate form from content, so there's no use asking authors to clean up their act.’
      • ‘As a pair they present a complex tale of memory and forgetting in terms of both form and content.’
      • ‘That was the thing that interested me about it; it's that marriage between form and content.’
      • ‘His smart-alec games with form and style are very witty, youthful and enormously engaging.’
      • ‘This uncomfortable contradiction between form and content lies at the heart of both their work.’
      • ‘The problem is one of both form and content, of poetic method and political consciousness.’
      • ‘Indeed, this tone is reinforced throughout the book by both its content and its form.’
      • ‘In fact, he's made it worse by a jarring disjunction between form and content.’
      • ‘Another question ran as follows: Choose a poem in which the poet has created a perfect blend of form and content.’
      • ‘Haven't ballet purists reacted negatively to the combination of classical form and popular content?’
      • ‘We feature a crop of interesting product designs marrying form and function in experimental ways.’
      • ‘Also the length of the film dictates the form, it is a fine balance between form and content.’
      • ‘On the downside, a small minority of articles favour form over content to an excessive degree.’
      • ‘Branagh's film thus presents us once again with a provocative conflict between form and content.’
      structure, arrangement, construction, framework, format, layout, design, organization, system, planning, order, orderliness, symmetry, proportion
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  • 2A particular way in which a thing exists or appears.

    ‘essays in book form’
    ‘energy in the form of light’
    • ‘It even published a collection of the best corrections in book form.’
    • ‘Some of the following supplements may come in convenient powder forms - use those when possible.’
    • ‘In fact, far from more bank holidays, what we need is fewer - at least in the traditional fixed form.’
    • ‘If I understand the literature about Anthrax, it has to be in a powdered form in order to be distributed over a wide area or via aerosol.’
    • ‘In time it may be advantageous to hold data in processed form, but at present raw data remains too valuable.’
    • ‘It will be easier at this time to put abstract ideas into concrete form.’
    • ‘The survey will be in the form of a questionnaire, asking about people's experience of the NHS in their area.’
    • ‘That pledge has since been backed by publicans in other counties who have vowed to resist the ban in its current form.’
    • ‘Draft policies then appeared in the form of reports brought before Council for formal approval.’
    • ‘The bill will have serious implications for journalists and photographers in its current form.’
    • ‘At the time of the Revolution, many of the languages of the national minorities lacked written forms.’
    • ‘The licence is in draft form and will be issued to your clients shortly.’
    • ‘The Church was not a separate entity, but one that gave legal form and substance to the society of the time.’
    • ‘It is slander if it takes the form of spoken words, gestures or mimicry.’
    • ‘Taking about 8mg of each nutrient every day in supplement form may also help tanning.’
    • ‘The talk will take the form of an information session on how the local authority works.’
    • ‘Virtually all the important research continues to appear in the form of papers in journals.’
    • ‘The appropriate drug in whatever form should be legal and available on prescription.’
    • ‘Ginger is easily obtained and comes in a variety of forms: powder, capsules, oil and tea.’
    • ‘It will now address as a matter of urgency the form that this independent body should take.’
    manifestation, appearance, embodiment, incarnation, semblance, shape, guise, character, description, expression
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    1. 2.1 Any of the ways in which a word may be spelled, pronounced, or inflected.
      ‘an adjectival form’
      • ‘Some examples of words ending in -ful that have no forms in -less are awful, bashful and deceitful.’
      • ‘Using polite forms and neutral pronouns with peers is considered effeminate.’
      • ‘The female form of the word was wicce, from which we get our witch, though at one time men could be witches, too.’
      • ‘These different shapes spell out word forms that belong to the verb lexeme crown.’
      • ‘For example, instant messaging often relies on acronyms and shortened forms of words.’
      • ‘The correct Irish form of the name Ballyhaunis was then, and still is open to question.’
      • ‘In other instances, there are related prepositional and adverbial forms.’
      • ‘To get facility with Italian as a third language, you would need only to grasp minor changes in word forms and syntax.’
      • ‘English does not require the use of gender-differentiated forms of the definite article and other similar words.’
      • ‘Either way, it is strange, and so is modified into something that sounds like a current English form.’
      • ‘Christian names can be indicative of class and the form of the name used can be indicative of politics.’
      • ‘As a flood of French verbs entered the language, they acquired noun forms by zero derivation, too.’
      • ‘To arrive at the original meaning of a surname, one has to consider the earliest recorded forms and invoke the expertise of a philologist.’
      • ‘Granted, there is a possibility that the clitic forms had not yet evolved 200 years ago.’
      • ‘She did this by presenting the children with nonsense words and setting up situations which would elicit derived forms of the words.’
      • ‘In practice, dictionaries take a middle course between wholehearted descriptivism and prescriptive edicts. They advise when a form is controversial, or a word is going out of use, or is shifting its sense.’
      • ‘All these verb forms are, in fact, largely neutral with respect to time and may be used in sentences with differing time implications.’
      • ‘Every noun has nine forms, you see, indicating its relationship to other words in the sentence.’
      • ‘The point is that word parts are bonding into forms according to the grammatical rules of English word formation.’
      • ‘This formality is in part caused by the Czech language, which has two forms of the second-person personal pronoun.’
    2. 2.2mass noun The structure of a word, phrase, sentence, or discourse.
      ‘every distinction in meaning is associated with a distinction in form’
      • ‘Sentences of this form are called conditionals, and will concern us a good deal in the next chapter.’
      • ‘The meaning of individual words is linked to the overall grammatical form of the sentence.’
      • ‘One also needs to pay attention to the syntactic form of the sentences.’
    3. 2.3Philosophy The essential nature of a species or thing, especially (in Plato's thought) regarded as an abstract ideal which real things imitate or participate in.
      • ‘Epicurus rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul, and he said that the gods have no influence on our lives.’
      • ‘Whitehead sees them as ingredients in an experience and rather similar to Plato's ideal forms.’
      • ‘The most adequately objective knowledge we could have would be of the nature of these abiding forms fixed in the nature of things.’
      • ‘Art as vision locates the subject of art in the artist, not in an external world of real or ideal forms.’
      • ‘Species are not regarded as permanent abstract forms, but as the result of chance combinations of atoms.’
  • 3A type or variety of something.

    ‘sponsorship is a form of advertising’
    • ‘Melanoma is a more serious form of skin cancer.’
    • ‘If a pure form of proportional representation had been used in 2001 we would have had a hung parliament.’
    • ‘The army has a zero tolerance policy towards any form of bullying or harassment.’
    • ‘Their mandate is the defence of women's rights in Quebec, with a focus on the prevention of violence and all forms of discrimination.’
    • ‘The two most effective forms of mass direct action are riots and strikes.’
    • ‘Faculty evaluation of students takes two basic forms: course grades and letters of recommendation.’
    • ‘Even if rental income has dropped, housing proprietors are sitting on an asset that outperforms all other conventional forms of investment by up to five times.’
    • ‘Three in 10 employees will experience some form of mental health problem in any one year.’
    • ‘"They say that imitation is a form of flattery, " Shane said.’
    • ‘Early forms of male pattern balding do well with treatment.’
    • ‘It is committed to peaceful campaigns against all forms of animal abuse and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle.’
    • ‘The two peoples spoke a different language and practiced different forms of religious worship.’
    • ‘The Commonwealth suspends or expels nations which have military coups and non-democratic forms of government.’
    • ‘When winter came, grass, then as now the cheapest form of animal feed, did not grow.’
    • ‘You almost have to use traditional forms of advertising, like TV and radio, which can get very expensive.’
    • ‘Correcting any form of social misbehaviour is not something that can be done quickly.’
    • ‘Preventing HPV is difficult, since no form of barrier contraception is completely protective.’
    • ‘We should not tolerate any form of discrimination or racism in our country.’
    • ‘I had a passport a good year before I did any travelling simply because it's a convenient form of ID.’
    • ‘The geological period known as the Cambrian is marked by the rather sudden appearance of all the basic forms of animals now in existence.’
    kind, sort, type, order, class, classification, category, variety, genre, brand, style
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    1. 3.1 An artistic or literary genre.
      ‘a form is as good as the writer who chooses it’
      • ‘Modern Karakalpak writers have adopted Western literary forms such as novels, short stories, and plays.’
      • ‘Composed at speed and in anger, the poem uses the popular ballad form with immense power and sometimes surreal effect.’
      • ‘Film-making is best learned on the job, like many other artistic or literary forms.’
      • ‘Prolific and hard-working, de Pisan wrote in most of the contemporary forms and genres.’
      • ‘Weaving is a highly developed traditional art form.’
      • ‘The satirist may use different forms of literature in prose or verse.’
      • ‘Both have consistently focused on a variety of music forms, from purely electronic to experimental jazz to experimental full stop.’
      • ‘Not just drama, the story also inspires poetry, memoirs, reportage and other literary forms.’
      • ‘In the early eighteenth century, Ludvig Holberg wrote in a variety of forms, including satire and comedy.’
      • ‘Pamuk experiments endlessly with the form of the novel.’
      • ‘Such urgency, that insistence, might color everything in poetry, this most personal of all literary forms.’
      • ‘What has changed is an interest in choosing works to represent a range of cultural experiences as well as a range of literary forms.’
      • ‘Like so many of Jordan's films, it is both a reflection on the genre form and an allegory of contemporary global politics.’
      • ‘Valuation is integral to novel theory's understanding of literary forms.’
      • ‘Before the First World War, the short story was detective fiction's predominant literary form.’
      • ‘It also requires that production draws on the full range of available forms and genres.’
      • ‘the middle of the 18th century there had been a revival of medieval and traditional literary forms - such as the ballad and the folk tale.’
      • ‘Not only was the language being re-shaped, but so were the generic forms of English literature.’
      • ‘Orwell adapts the literary forms of the allegory and beast fable for his own purposes.’
      • ‘The other stories too reflect the vibrancy and dynamism of the short story as a form that constantly offers something new in craft, technique and theme.’
      • ‘She didn't want to write another novel immediately, so the short story is the perfect form.’
    2. 3.2Botany A taxonomic category that ranks below variety, which contains organisms differing from the typical kind in some trivial, frequently impermanent, character, e.g. a colour variant.
      Also called forma
      • ‘A southern taxonomic form is distributed in North America in Pacific drainages from northern Washington north to the Alaska Peninsula.’
      • ‘In the field these two forms looked like distinct taxa, and we wondered if earlier botanists were not correct in recognizing this material as either varietally or specifically distinct.’
      • ‘Indeed, like most flowering plants, both forms were hermaphrodites.’
      • ‘The islands are very rich floristically, with a high proportion of shrubs and other woody forms.’
      • ‘Seventeen species/botanical forms representing all the Old World lupins and one New World species were used in the experiment.’
  • 4mass noun The customary or correct method or procedure.

    ‘an excessive concern for legal form and precedent’
    • ‘Beneath these arguments about legal form lie the wider issues of self-determination.’
    • ‘For form's sake, she apologised and said she'd replace it.’
    • ‘There was some grudging applause at the final curtain, but I got the feeling it was more for the sake of form, rather than actual enjoyment.’
    • ‘This is not correct form in polite company, but then, I generally avoid polite company.’
    • ‘Not only had he paid for his parking but had displayed the receipt sticker as instructed. He was even more shocked because he had visited the Cove often before and knew the form.’
    etiquette, social practice, custom, usage, use, habit, wont, protocol, procedure, rules, convention, tradition, fashion, style, routine, ritual, pattern, regimen, policy, method, system, way, rule, formula, set formula
    good manners, manners, polite behaviour, correct behaviour, acceptable conduct, convention, etiquette, protocol
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    1. 4.1count noun A ritual or convention.
      ‘the outward forms of religion’
      • ‘It is true that this general election does still adhere to some of the old forms and conventions of British democracy.’
      • ‘Unbelievers who undergo conversion are almost always attracted to religion's more traditional forms.’
      • ‘One method through which this was achieved was by re-positioning the religious ritual forms as archaic survivals of a Hindu past.’
      • ‘The Act of Supremacy (1559) established the Church of England as the State religion. Those who rejected its outward forms and practices were fined, or worse.’
      • ‘Similarly, the most complex ritual forms can be rendered impotent and meaningless if a sufficient level of emotional investment isn't there.’
      • ‘At least in its outward forms, this religion does not look so very different from that of the pagan Britons under Roman rule.’
      • ‘Ceremonial observances, rituals, and other outward forms are its basis; and compliance with them is what it takes as essential to the religious life.’
      • ‘Divine activities do not seem to be limited only to forms which have undergone ritual consecration.’
      official procedure, rule, regulation, convention, ritual, custom, matter of form, formal gesture
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    2. 4.2count noun A set order of words; a formula.
      ‘a form of words’
      • ‘The Rev Chris Swift, a parent himself, agonised over a form of words for a situation he hadn't faced before.’
      • ‘I suspect this form of expression is a local custom for elderly people to ward off the envy of jealous gods.’
      • ‘Although no particular form of words is necessary the waiver must be express.’
      • ‘It is contended, rightly, that no particular form of words is required so long as the intention is clear.’
      • ‘Provided this is done in clear terms the judge need not use any particular form of words.’
  • 5A mould, frame, or block in or on which something is shaped.

    • ‘You fill the forms with stone and concrete, then ‘slip’ the forms up for the next level.’
    1. 5.1 A temporary structure for holding fresh concrete in shape while it sets.
      • ‘Passive form oils usually do not leave a dusty layer on the form or the concrete.’
      • ‘After the spread footing pour has set, a concrete pier form is placed on top of the footing.’
  • 6A printed document with blank spaces for information to be inserted.

    ‘an application form’
    • ‘At the desk Cassie and Sally filled out various forms.’
    • ‘To enter the competition, fill out the application form on this page.’
    • ‘As already stated the details on each form will be treated in the strictest confidence.’
    • ‘It may well be that some taxpayers are being discouraged from filling in forms simply because these forms verge on the incomprehensible.’
    • ‘Simply complete the entry form available in the library.’
    • ‘As soon as the EU Commission approves the scheme the necessary application forms will be made available to farmers.’
    • ‘Under the changes there is now a new procedure and application form.’
    • ‘If only he had read the fine print on the medical release form at the hospital.’
    • ‘It transpires that the only reason our buyers didn't hand deliver the contracts over the weekend was because one of their names was spelled incorrectly on the forms.’
    • ‘You can print off application forms through the official website.’
    • ‘It's becoming a card that strikes more fear into chefs' hearts than a self-assessment tax form.’
    • ‘All completed enrolment forms must be returned to the school by Friday, February 14.’
    • ‘I get my accountant to fill out my self-assessment tax form, as it is pretty time-consuming to do it myself.’
    • ‘The leaflet and claim form will also be available on the agency's website.’
    • ‘It will just mean one more legal form that has to be signed before a recording can happen.’
    • ‘Employees can nominate their colleagues in any category and nomination forms can be obtained from the local human resource offices.’
    • ‘Every incident requiring action from a supervisor must be documented in writing on the correct form.’
    • ‘Ofsted is also promising to take self-assessment forms completed by head teachers into account more than at present.’
    • ‘You will have to fill out an application form and there will be questions about your medical history and your lifestyle.’
    • ‘I'm just filling in an Occupational Health form for work, which requires details of one's GP.’
    questionnaire, document, coupon, tear-off slip, sheet of paper, paper
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  • 7British A class or year in a school, usually given a specifying number.

    ‘the fifth form’
    • ‘It plans to do this by reducing four of its year groups from three forms per year to two forms by merging the classes.’
    • ‘I am a supply teacher and I have been for the past nine years teaching in primary schools, high schools, sixth forms and colleges.’
    • ‘Jayden was two years older than Hailey and Alexa, he'd dropped out of school in his fifth form year to join a band.’
    • ‘Laura came home very distressed because she thought her form teacher would tell her off for being late.’
    • ‘I got to school and traipsed up the stairs to my form room.’
    • ‘I took her straight back to see her form tutor and they promised to do something about it.’
    • ‘I was friends with some girls in my form but I also had other friends from different classes.’
    • ‘I suspect that she dropped science in the fourth form, like me.’
    class, year, school group, tutor group, set, stream, band
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  • 8mass noun The state of a sports player or team with regard to their current standard of play.

    ‘they are one of the best teams around on current form’
    • ‘Based on the two teams' current form, today's encounter looks set to be close fought and could go either way.’
    • ‘If he maintains his current level of form then he will be challenging for the Jockeys Title.’
    • ‘On current form, he certainly stands a better chance than his team-mate.’
    • ‘Smith's own form with the bat is another major concern for South Africa.’
    • ‘He has shown consistent form with both bat and ball so far this season but still needs a big score under his belt.’
    • ‘I am lucky enough to be part of a team whose form has been magnificent, with mesmerising displays.’
    • ‘On current form, he may be the best striker in the first division, but he doesn't expect to start.’
    • ‘Jebb was 24 seconds behind Bailey who on current form is favourite to win the title.’
    • ‘He said many players had discovered their form and this was having a positive influence on the team.’
    • ‘This was a crucial game for Ilkley not least because of the need to show some form as the team prepares for an arduous final few weeks of the season.’
    • ‘Their first league victory of the season will surely not be far away with David Bentley in his current form.’
    • ‘Italo Stars have hit a rich vein of form and will be bubbling with confidence for Saturday's home clash.’
    • ‘Following a bad start, the Greens have become one of national league two's form teams over the last two months.’
    • ‘Fingers are crossed that both can keep up their brilliant form from the recent national games.’
    • ‘Aberdeen are one of the Scottish Premier League's form teams and have yet to concede a goal in five games.’
    • ‘The England cricket team's improved form will, I hope, reignite interest in the game in our inner cities.’
    • ‘Part of the reason why he doesn't reproduce his club form for England is that his form improves as the team he plays in gets better.’
    • ‘On current domestic form, Liverpool might not see another Champions League night like this for a very long time to come.’
    • ‘The second day was tense as they struggled to find the previous days' form.’
    • ‘The United manager hopes that a victory against Boavista would also ignite his team's Premiership form.’
    fitness, physical fitness, condition, fettle, shape, trim, health, state of health
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    1. 8.1 Details of previous performances by a racehorse or greyhound.
      ‘an interested bystander studying the form’
      • ‘With, of course, no previous form to go on, the weight of money tends to offer significant clues to the outcome.’
      • ‘Rogers enjoyed a stunning success when Moon Unit took the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes, despite starting as the rank outsider at 20/1 - a surprising price to anyone who bothered to take a close look at the animal's form.’
      • ‘Some tipsters do have good long-term records, largely because they study form every day, but they are few and far between.’
      • ‘Forget studying form, this mother-of-two's method is to choose names that mean something to her.’
      • ‘As ladies in elaborate hats paraded and gentlemen in top hat and tails studied form, the royals rode in the traditional Ascot carriage procession.’
      • ‘I know as much about their chances as anyone who has seen them run and studied the form. There is not much between them.’
      • ‘The three-year-old showed consistent form last season and ended his first campaign with a brace of victories.’
      • ‘For example, when the handicapper allots a weight to a horse for the Grand National, he will look at its previous form.’
    2. 8.2 A person's mood and state of health.
      ‘she seemed to be on good form’
      • ‘I only spoke to Glenn three weeks ago and he was in fine form and looking forward to the future.’
      • ‘That morning Christine had been on great form but at 8pm her mood changed dramatically.’
      • ‘I've not been feeling on top form physically or, more importantly, spiritually.’
      • ‘And then yesterday I retired to my sickbed, feeling decidedly under the weather, and am still not on top form today.’
      • ‘Anyway they seem in good form and everyone seems to have enjoyed the holiday.’
      state of health, physical state, physical health, physical shape, condition, constitution
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    3. 8.3British informal A criminal record.
      ‘they both had form’
      • ‘A month later he was involved in a nightclub fight. And he has form: including spending a night in the cells after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly after a binge in Wimbledon last year.’
      • ‘In case you are tempted to believe a word of this disclaimer, remember at Mr Gonzalez has previous form.’
      • ‘Paranoid perhaps, but the government does have previous form on this matter.’
      • ‘I think Warne'd get the benefit of the doubt, except he's got form.’
      • ‘Facing having to pay out a hefty divorce settlement, he had the motive. He also had form, having nearly strangled Arlene to death just weeks both she disappeared.’
      a criminal record, a police record, previous convictions, a history of crime
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  • 9British A long bench without a back.

    • ‘It was a truck with a projector in the back that they'd back up to the hall, open a flap in the wall and the projector would poke through that. We'd sit on forms watching cowboy movies, I think cowboy movies was all they showed!’
    • ‘The shelter inside was totally dark and one had to grope to find a place to sit on the backless wooden forms.’
    • ‘The original seats were old wooden forms which could be pushed back against the wall.’
    bench, long seat, pew, settle, stall
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  • 10US Printing

    variant spelling of forme
  • 11British A hare's lair.

    • ‘Hares lie overnight in ‘forms’, which are a kind of above-ground nest.’
    lair, den, drey, lodge, burrow, set
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Phrases

  • in form

    • (of a sports player or team) playing or performing well.

      • ‘Teddy Sheringham is on form, and is playing well with Solskjaer.’
      • ‘Gough said all of England's players needed to be in form by the start of the Test series in July.’
      • ‘France's Philippe Lima, with wins in Spain and his home county in the last two months, is clearly the man in form.’
      • ‘When they are on form they look great but when they're not they look very average.’
      • ‘Fourth-placed All Blacks need a win to keep in the promotion hunt but come up against a team in form.’
      • ‘Man of the match was George Guest who was on form in midfield.’
      • ‘She went out in the second round of the women's doubles but hopes to be back on form for this month's Commonwealth Games.’
      • ‘There can be no doubt that Andy Johnson is a man in form, but is he really international quality?’
      • ‘He is very fast and skillful, and when on form he is the best player in the team.’
      • ‘Benitez is a canny coach, and he may just coax some good performances out of Liverpool, provided their strikers remain fit and on form.’
  • off (or out of) form

    • (of a sports player or team) not playing or performing well.

      • ‘IT is unfortunate that our captain is woefully out of form.’
      • ‘With Bergkamp on the wane and Kanu off form, a new striker is also high on the manager's priorities.’
      • ‘Both clubs have tons of good players but it only takes a couple to be off form and this could be decisive.’
      • ‘Brazil, clear favourites to retain the World Cup in Germany this summer, have several key players out of form and under fire from the media.’
      • ‘Both are deemed by the selectors to be out of form at present, but both are talented enough to make a come-back to the team.’
      • ‘We've obviously been out of form the last five weeks so it's a pretty big game.’
      • ‘England's pre-match selection was suspect, with Iain Balshaw chosen at full-back despite being completely out of form.’
      • ‘Most of the batsmen have been out of form on this tour, but we have to find some ways to score runs.’
      • ‘Roddick looked off form in Athens and failed to convert four break points in the decisive game of the match.’
      • ‘Equally out of form Aston Villa travel to cup specialists Sheffield United for what is sure to be a high tempo, passionate affair.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French forme (noun), fo(u)rmer (verb, from Latin formare ‘to form’), both based on Latin forma ‘a mould or form’.

Pronunciation

form

/fɔːm/