ETYM Old Eng. and French forme, from Latin forma; cf. Skr. dhariman. Related to Firm.
In Greek and medieval European philosophy, that which makes a thing what it is. For Plato, a Form was an immaterial, independent object, which could not be perceived by the senses and was known only by reason; thus, a horse was a thing participating in the Form of horseness. For Aristotle, forms existed only in combination with matter: a horse was a lump of matter having the form of a horse—that is, the essential properties (see essence) and powers of a horse. However, Aristotle, like the medieval philosophers after him, does not make it clear whether there is a different form for each individual, or only for each type or species.
In Platonic philosophy Form is generally capitalized and is synonymous with his use of idea.
In logic, the form of a proposition is the kind or species to which it belongs, such as the universal (“All x are y”) or the negative (“No x are y”). Logical form is contrasted with the content, or what the proposition individually is about.1. A perceptual structure or shape; SYN. shape, pattern.
2. A particular mode in which something is manifested.
3. The visual appearance of something or someone; SYN. shape, cast.
4. A mold for setting concrete.
5. An ability to perform well.
6. An arrangement of the elements in a composition or discourse.
7. A printed document with spaces in which to write.
8. The phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word; SYN. word form.
9. (Biology) A group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups; SYN. variant, strain, var.
The large-scale structure and overall design of a composition, providing a coherent framework for the effective presentation of musical ideas. Short pieces do not require complicated forms because the thematic material is usually sufficiently coherent in itself. The simplest forms are binary form, which consists of two sections often separated by a double bar (marking-off a section), and simple ternary form, which consists of one section followed by a contrasting section, followed by the return of the first section. Most larger-scale forms are expansions and developments of these two basic types, carefully using a balance of thematic development and transformation, repetition, variation, and contrast. Examples include sonata form and rondo form. During the 19th century, when Romantic composers such as Wagner fought against standard Classical forms, the alternative structure of a literary text or idea often came to replace the traditional, more technical, compositional forms.
1. A structured document with spaces reserved for entering information and often containing special coding as well.
2. In some applications (especially databases), a structured window, box, or other self-contained presentation element with predefined areas for entering or changing information. A form is a visual filter for the underlying data it is presenting, generally offering the advantages of better data organization and greater ease of viewing.
3. In optical media, a data storage format used in compact disc technology.
4. In programming, a metalanguage (such as Backus-Naur form) used to describe the syntax of a language. See also Backus-Naur form.
1. To give shape to.
2. To compose or represent; SYN. constitute, make.
3. To develop into a distinctive entity; SYN. take form, take shape, spring.
4. To create, as of a social group or a company, for example; SYN. organize.