Definition of format in English:


Syllabification: for·mat
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.
    More 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] Back to top  
  • 1(Especially in computing) arrange or put into a format.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

More definitions of format

Definition of format in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little