Etymology
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format (n.)

1840, "shape and size" (of a book), via French format (18c.), ultimately from Modern Latin liber formatus "a book formed" in a certain shape and size, from past participle of formare "to form," from forma "form, shape" (see form (n.)). Extended to computers by 1955.

format (v.)

"arrange into a format," 1964, in reference to electronic computing, from format (n.). Related: Formatted; formatting.

updated on October 30, 2015

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Definitions of format from WordNet
1
format (v.)
set (printed matter) into a specific format;
Synonyms: arrange
format (v.)
determine the arrangement of (data) for storage and display (in computer science);
format (v.)
divide (a disk) into marked sectors so that it may store data;
Please format this disk before entering data!
Synonyms: initialize / initialise
2
format (n.)
the organization of information according to preset specifications (usually for computer processing);
Synonyms: formatting / data format / data formatting
format (n.)
the general appearance of a publication;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.