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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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verb form pronunciation in British English /fɔː(r)m/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleforming
past tenseformed
past participleformed
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to make something exist or develop

    A change in temperature may make moisture form on the windows.

    A smile formed on his lips.

    A plan began to form in her mind.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something start to exist or develop

      She formed a deep attachment to the child.

      The valley was formed by erosion.

      He has been with the club since it was first formed in 1972.

      form an impression of:

      The interview will give you a chance to form an impression of the company.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to move together to create a particular shape

    The boys and girls formed a line behind their teacher.

    A dozen or so armed guards formed a ring around the exit.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something into a particular shape
      form something into something:

      Roll the clay between your hands and form it into a ball.

  3. 3
    [linking verb] to be something, or to be the parts that something consists of

    Fieldwork forms an important part of the course.

    Mountains form a natural barrier that keeps invaders out.

    Land ownership formed the basis of their wealth and power.

    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] to influence the development of something

    Her character was largely formed by the loss of her family in the war.

  5. 5
    [transitive] linguistics to make one of the parts of a verb or other word that has several different parts

    You normally add ‘-ing’ to form the present participle of English verbs.

phrasal verbs


… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

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a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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