[fawr-uhm, fohr-uhm]
noun, plural forums, fora [fawr-uh, fohr-uh] .
the marketplace or public square of an ancient Roman city, the center of judicial and business affairs and a place of assembly for the people.
a court or tribunal: the forum of public opinion.
an assembly, meeting place, television program, etc., for the discussion of questions of public interest.
the Forum, the forum in the ancient city of Rome.

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin: marketplace, public place, akin to forīs, forās outside, foris door

form, forum (see synonym study at form). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
forum (ˈfɔːrəm)
n , pl -rums, -ra
1.  a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
2.  a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
3.  a public meeting place for open discussion
4.  a court; tribunal
5.  (in South Africa) a pressure group of leaders or representatives, esp Black leaders or representatives
6.  (in ancient Italy) an open space, usually rectangular in shape, serving as a city's marketplace and centre of public business
[C15: from Latin: public place; related to Latin foris outside]

Forum or Forum Romanum (rəʊˈmɑːnəm)
the Forum the main forum of ancient Rome, situated between the Capitoline and the Palatine Hills
Forum Romanum or Forum Romanum

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

1460, "place of assembly in ancient Rome," from L. forum "marketplace" apparently akin to foris, foras "out of doors, outside." Sense of "assembly, place for public discussion" first recorded 1690.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

forum definition

(Plural "fora" or "forums") Any discussion group accessible through a dial-in BBS (e.g. GEnie, CI$), a mailing list, or a Usenet newsgroup (see network, the). A forum functions much like a bulletin board; users submit postings for all to read and discussion ensues.
Contrast real-time chat or point-to-point personal e-mail.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
The forum has been too much taken over to hysterics, paranoids, and boodlers on
  all sides.
It's a growing symptom of a deeper social problem that is better discussed in
  another forum.
Read our accompanying essay and add your thoughts to our forum.
They see social reform as the product of deals made in a central forum among
  diverse pressure groups.
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