the shape and size of a book as determined by the number of times the original sheet has been folded to form the leaves. Compare duodecimo, folio ( def 2 ), octavo, quarto.
the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
the organization, plan, style, or type of something: The format of the show allowed for topical and controversial gags.
Computers. the arrangement of data for computer input or output, such as the number and size of fields in a record or the spacing and punctuation of information in a report.
verb (used with object), formatted, formatting.
to plan or provide a format for: to format the annual telethon.
to set the format of (input or output): Some word-processing programs format output in a variety of ways.
to prepare (a disk) for writing and reading.
verb (used without object), formatted, formatting.
to devise a format.

1830–40; < French < Latin (liber) fōrmātus (a book) formed (in a certain way)

formatter, noun
preformat, verb (used with object), preformatted, preformatting.
reformat, verb, reformatted, reformatting. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
format (ˈfɔːmæt)
1.  the general appearance of a publication, including type style, paper, binding, etc
2.  duodecimo See also quarto an approximate indication of the size of a publication as determined by the number of times the original sheet of paper is folded to make a leaf
3.  style, plan, or arrangement, as of a television programme
4.  computing
 a.  the defined arrangement of data encoded in a file or for example on magnetic disk or CD-ROM, essential for the correct recording and recovery of data on different devices
 b.  the arrangement of text on printed output or a display screen, or a coded description of such an arrangement
vb , -mats, -matting, -matted
5.  to arrange (a book, page, etc) into a specified format
[C19: via French from German, from Latin liber formātus volume formed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1840, via Fr. & Ger. from Mod.L. liber formatus "a book formed" (in such and such a way), referring to shape, size; from pp. of formare "to form." The verb, used chiefly of computers, is first attested 1964. Related: Formatted; formatting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
format   (fôr'māt')  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   The arrangement of data for storage or display.

  1. To divide a disk into marked sectors so that it may store data.

  2. To determine the arrangement of data for storage or display.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

format definition

1. disk format - to prepare a new, blank disk for writing.
2. file format - how data is arranged in a specific type of file.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
When arts administrators plan public readings, they should avoid the standard subculture format of poetry only.
Librarians have been saying they want and need to buy more scholarly monographs
  in electronic format.
It seems that customers don't want to re-buy films in yet another format.
If the new advertiser-friendly format is necessary to keep the magazine in
  business, it's a small price to pay.
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