Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to forming: Metal forming


a. The shape and structure of an object: the form of a snowflake.
b. The body or outward appearance of a person or an animal; figure: In the fog we could see two forms standing on the bridge.
c. A model of the human figure or part of it used for displaying clothes.
d. A mold for the setting of concrete.
a. The way in which a thing exists, acts, or manifests itself: an element usually found in the form of a gas.
b. Philosophy The essential or ideal nature of something, especially as distinguished from its matter or material being.
a. A kind, type, or variety: A cat is a form of mammal.
b. Botany A subdivision of a variety usually differing in one trivial characteristic, such as flower color.
a. Method of arrangement or manner of coordinating elements in verbal or musical composition: presented my ideas in outline form; a treatise in the form of a dialogue.
b. A particular type or example of such arrangement: The essay is a literary form.
a. Procedure as determined or governed by regulation or custom: gave his consent solely as a matter of form.
b. Manners or conduct as governed by etiquette, decorum, or custom: Arriving late to a wedding is considered bad form.
c. A fixed order of words or procedures, as for use in a ceremony: "As they had never had a funeral aboard a ship, they began rehearsing the forms so as to be ready" (Arthur Conan Doyle).
d. A document with blanks for the insertion of details or information: insurance forms.
a. Performance considered with regard to acknowledged criteria: a musician at the top of her form.
b. A pattern of behavior or performance: remained true to form and showed up late.
c. Fitness, as of an athlete or animal, with regard to health or training: a dog in excellent form.
d. A racing form.
7. A grade in a British secondary school or in some American private schools: the sixth form.
a. A linguistic form.
b. The external aspect of words with regard to their inflections, pronunciation, or spelling.
a. Chiefly British A long seat; a bench.
b. The lair or resting place of a hare.
v. formed, form·ing, forms
a. To give form to; shape: form clay into figures.
b. To make or fashion by shaping: form figures out of clay.
c. To develop in the mind; conceive: Her reading led her to form a different opinion.
a. To arrange oneself in: Holding out his arms, the cheerleader formed a T. The acrobats formed a pyramid.
b. To organize or arrange: The environmentalists formed their own party.
c. To fashion, train, or develop by instruction, discipline, or precept: formed the recruits into excellent soldiers.
a. To come to have; develop or acquire: He formed the habit of walking to work.
b. To enter into (a relationship): They formed a friendship.
4. To constitute or compose, especially out of separate elements: the bones that form the skeleton.
a. To produce (a tense, for example) by inflection: form the pluperfect.
b. To make (a word) by derivation or composition.
1. To become formed or shaped: Add enough milk so the dough forms easily into balls.
2. To come into being by taking form; arise: Clouds will form in the afternoon.
3. To assume a specified form, shape, or pattern: The soldiers formed into a column.

[Middle English forme, from Latin fōrma, possibly (via Etruscan) from Greek morphē.]

form′a·bil′i·ty n.
form′a·ble adj.
Synonyms: form, figure, shape, contour, profile
These nouns refer to the external outline of a thing. Form is the outline and structure of a thing as opposed to its substance: the pointed form of a pyramid; a brooch in the form of a lovers' knot. Figure refers usually to form as established by bounding or enclosing lines: The cube is a solid geometric figure. Shape can imply either two-dimensional outline or three-dimensional definition that indicates both outline and bulk or mass: paper cutouts in the shape of flowers and stars; "He faced her, a hooded and cloaked shape" (Joseph Conrad).
Contour refers to the outline and often the surface of a three-dimensional figure or body: the streamlined contour of the hybrid vehicle. Profile denotes the outline of something viewed against a background and especially the outline of the human face in side view: The police took a photograph of the mugger's profile.
References in classic literature ?
Regarding the Sperm whale's head as a solid oblong, you may, on an inclined plane, sideways divide it into two quoins, whereof the lower is the bony structure, forming the cranium and jaws, and the upper an unctuous mass wholly free from bones; its broad forward end forming the expanded vertical apparent forehead of the whale.
The early differences would be very slight; in the course of time, from the continued selection of swifter horses by some breeders, and of stronger ones by others, the differences would become greater, and would be noted as forming two sub-breeds; finally, after the lapse of centuries, the sub-breeds would become converted into two well-established and distinct breeds.
Where the land slopes abruptly under water, these reefs are only a few yards in width, forming a mere ribbon or fringe round the shores: where the land slopes gently under the water the reef extends further, sometimes even as much as a mile from the land; but in such cases the soundings outside the reef always show that the submarine prolongation of the land is gently inclined.
As far as the actual reef is concerned, there is no essential difference between it and that forming a barrier or an atoll: it is, however, generally of less width, and consequently few islets have been formed on it.
As the barrier-reef slowly sinks down, the corals will go on vigorously growing upwards; but as the island sinks, the water will gain inch by inch on the shore -- the separate mountains first forming separate islands within
That it will be a federal and not a national act, as these terms are understood by the objectors; the act of the people, as forming so many independent States, not as forming one aggregate nation, is obvious from this single consideration, that it is to result neither from the decision of a MAJORITY of the people of the Union, nor from that of a MAJORITY of the States.
The circumvallation formed a double enclosure, the inner side of which was, in fact, two feet or three feet distant from the other, and connected by a concentric range of long flat stones, thus forming a series of concentric rings or stories of various heights, rising to the top of the tower.
Applications: Automotive, refrigeration, general forming
By applying energy beneath the forming wire, the partially formed sheet is fluidized, allowing the redistribution of fiber flocs, which improves formation and drainage.
At steel melting temperatures, however, reactions between the iron- and manganese oxide, and the spinel compound will occur more readily, forming a modified spinel [(Fe, Mn, Mg)O*[Al.
Applications: Heavy-gauge forming, including Class-A and TPO parts
This patented system employs two molds that alternately swing back and forth between forming and parts-removal stations, creating a system that gets the productivity benefits of two molds while requiring just one trim station.