Definition of format in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfôrˌmat/


1The way in which something is arranged or set out: the format of the funeral service
More example sentences
  • These thinkers can be arranged in a sequential format to help describe economic decision-making.
  • These one-hour biographies are not made in the conventional format.
  • What happens if a PhD Thesis cannot be articulated in a conventional format?
1.1The shape, size, and presentation of a book or periodical.
Example sentences
  • This reader friendliness is present in the format: rather than use A4 paper it is the size of a paperback.
  • The book format is planned carefully for efficiency of page turns and includes composer biographies and a short history of the piano duet.
  • Graham presents a double-criticism of the book format as it relates to emblem studies: it cannot be indexed by the individual reader, and it is extremely cumbersome and slow.
design, style, presentation, appearance, look;
form, shape, size;
arrangement, plan, structure, scheme, composition, configuration
1.2The medium in which a sound recording is made available: the album is available as a CD as well as on LP and cassette formats
More example sentences
  • They are outstanding examples of a less-familiar, nearly-obsolete, sound recording format.
  • Yes, it is a gathering of songs, but the bulk of the book concerns their history, context and reproduction in recorded sound formats.
  • For the time being it would probably be better, in most cases, to use cassettes or to make the message available in both formats - if this is affordable in your budget.
1.3 Computing A defined structure for the processing, storage, or display of data: a data file in binary format
More example sentences
  • These recommendations would cover such things as storage, file formats, metadata, and cataloging.
  • Choose between bitmap or JPEG file formats when saving screenshots to the hard drive.
  • Despite these difficulties, several new XML formats are gaining adoption.

verb (formats, formatting, formatted)

[with object]
1(Especially in computing) arrange or put into a format.
Example sentences
  • So after the landscape is sketched out through gathering material, I arrange and format the sounds into some kind of set or collection which works well together.
  • But due to an error in the computer system which formatted the text, the letters were sent out addressing thousands of people by their first name only.
  • He asked that contributions be formatted as MS-Word documents.
1.1Prepare (a storage medium) to receive data.
Example sentences
  • Figure 2 demonstrates a disk that was randomized properly before being formatted to contain an encrypted filesystem.
  • Here is a free resource Windows Setup Guide that can help you to learn about partitioning, formatting hard disks and installing Windows.
  • Through an associated software utility, the disk is formatted and can be only unlocked when the security dongle is used.


Mid 19th century: via French and German from Latin formatus (liber) 'shaped (book)', past participle of formare 'to form'.

Words that rhyme with format


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: for·mat

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