Definition of format in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːmat/


1The way in which something is arranged or set out: the conventional format of TV situation comedies
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: the format is A4 on newsprint (as modifier, in combination) large-format paperbacks
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, scheme, composition, make-up, configuration, structure, set-up
1.2The medium in which a sound recording is made available: he has just re-issued the collection in CD format
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: how to format a document
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: you will be able to format a disk
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'.

Words that rhyme with format

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.