follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

format

[fawr-mat] /ˈfɔr mæt/
noun
1.
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.
2.
the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
3.
the organization, plan, style, or type of something:
The format of the show allowed for topical and controversial gags.
4.
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.
5.
to plan or provide a format for:
to format the annual telethon.
6.
Computers.
  1. to set the format of (input or output):
    Some word-processing programs format output in a variety of ways.
  2. to prepare (a disk) for writing and reading.
verb (used without object), formatted, formatting.
7.
to devise a format.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; < French < Latin (liber) fōrmātus (a book) formed (in a certain way)
Related forms
formatter, noun
preformat, verb (used with object), preformatted, preformatting.
reformat, verb, reformatted, reformatting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for formatting
  • The initial text includes uninterpreted text formatting control commands.
  • The total number of bits stored on a physical disk can vary simply by changing disk formatting parameters.
  • But that's another problem with the formatting of these programs, which in all likelihood can't be changed.
  • In any case, make sure your resume is legible in the absence of these formatting features.
  • They let you apply different formatting options with the click of a button.
  • Color-coded formatting ensures that kids are organized and focused.
  • But none of that is a reason for formatting them out of existence.
  • All this is possible because the protocols for formatting, requesting and transmitting web pages have been standardised.
  • The material suppliers are merely embedded in normalised commercial and military purchasing routines and formatting.
  • Plenty of e-books have pictures, but the formatting tends to be crude, and tiny phone screens don't help matters.
British Dictionary definitions for formatting

format

/ˈfɔːmæt/
noun
1.
the general appearance of a publication, including type style, paper, binding, etc
2.
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 See also duodecimo, quarto
3.
style, plan, or arrangement, as of a television programme
4.
(computing)
  1. 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
  2. the arrangement of text on printed output or a display screen, or a coded description of such an arrangement
verb (transitive) -mats, -matting, -matted
5.
to arrange (a book, page, etc) into a specified format
Word Origin
C19: via French from German, from Latin liber formātus volume formed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for formatting

format

n.

1840, via French format (18c.), ultimately from Modern Latin liber formatus "a book formed" (in such and such a way), referring to shape, size; from past participle of formare "to form" (see form (v.)).

v.

used chiefly of computers, 1964, from format (n.). Related: Formatted; formatting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
formatting in Science
format
  (fôr'māt')   
Noun  The arrangement of data for storage or display.

Verb  
  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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for format

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for formatting

16
19
Scrabble Words With Friends