Etymology
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form (n.)

c. 1200, forme, fourme, "semblance, image, likeness," from Old French forme, fourme, "physical form, appearance; pleasing looks; shape, image; way, manner" (12c.), from Latin forma "form, contour, figure, shape; appearance, looks; a fine form, beauty; an outline, a model, pattern, design; sort, kind condition," a word of unknown origin. One theory holds that it is from or cognate with Greek morphe "form, beauty, outward appearance" (see Morpheus) via Etruscan [Klein].

From c. 1300 as "physical shape (of something), contour, outline," of a person, "shape of the body;" also "appearance, likeness;" also "the imprint of an object." From c. 1300 as "correct or appropriate way of doing something; established procedure; traditional usage; formal etiquette." Mid-14c. as "instrument for shaping; a mould;" late 14c. as "way in which something is done," also "pattern of a manufactured object." Used widely from late 14c. in theology and Platonic philosophy with senses "archetype of a thing or class; Platonic essence of a thing; the formative principle." From c. 1300 in law, "a legal agreement; terms of agreement," later "a legal document" (mid-14c.). Meaning "a document with blanks to be filled in" is from 1855. From 1590s as "systematic or orderly arrangement;" from 1610s as "mere ceremony." From 1550s as "a class or rank at school" (from sense "a fixed course of study," late 14c.). Form-fitting (adj.) in reference to clothing is from 1893.

form (v.)

c. 1300, formen, fourmen, "create, give life to, give shape or structure to; make, build, construct, devise," from Old French fourmer "formulate, express; draft, create, shape, mold" (12c.) and directly from Latin formare "to shape, fashion, build," also figurative, from forma "form, contour, figure, shape" (see form (n.)). From late 14c. as "go to make up, be a constituent part of;" intransitive sense "take form, come into form" is from 1722. Related: Formed; forming.

updated on December 20, 2014

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Definitions of form from WordNet
1
form (n.)
the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something;
the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached
Synonyms: word form / signifier / descriptor
form (n.)
a category of things distinguished by some common characteristic or quality;
sculpture is a form of art
Synonyms: kind / sort / variety
form (n.)
a perceptual structure;
the composition presents problems for students of musical form
Synonyms: shape / pattern
form (n.)
any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline);
form (n.)
the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance;
Synonyms: shape
form (n.)
the visual appearance of something or someone;
Synonyms: shape / cast
form (n.)
a printed document with spaces in which to write;
he filled out his tax form
form (n.)
(biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups;
Synonyms: variant / strain / var.
form (n.)
an arrangement of the elements in a composition or discourse;
he first sketches the plot in outline form
the essay was in the form of a dialogue
form (n.)
a particular mode in which something is manifested;
his resentment took the form of extreme hostility
form (n.)
(physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary;
Synonyms: phase
form (n.)
a body of students who are taught together;
Synonyms: class / grade / course
form (n.)
an ability to perform well;
he was at the top of his form
the team was off form last night
form (n.)
a life-size dummy used to display clothes;
Synonyms: mannequin / manikin / mannikin / manakin
form (n.)
a mold for setting concrete;
they built elaborate forms for pouring the foundation
form (n.)
alternative names for the body of a human being;
Synonyms: human body / physical body / material body / soma / build / figure / physique / anatomy / shape / bod / chassis / frame / flesh
2
form (v.)
create (as an entity);
social groups form everywhere
They formed a company
Synonyms: organize / organise
form (v.)
to compose or represent;
This wall forms the background of the stage setting
Synonyms: constitute / make
form (v.)
develop into a distinctive entity;
Synonyms: take form / take shape / spring
form (v.)
give shape or form to;
form the young child's character
Synonyms: shape
form (v.)
make something, usually for a specific function;
Synonyms: shape / work / mold / mould / forge
form (v.)
establish or impress firmly in the mind;
Synonyms: imprint
form (v.)
assume a form or shape;
the water formed little beads
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.