-form Also -iform.
Having a specified form or number of forms.
[Latin forma, a mould or form.]
This ending is active in English and frequently forms adjectives in botany and zoology that describe the shape of a plant or animal or some part of it. Though the spelling is strictly -form because of the Latin original, adjectives created using it usually have a i before the ending (see -i-). A selection of varying application is given in the list below.
Verbs in -form, including form itself, are from Latin formare, to form (based on forma); hence conform, deform, inform, reform, and transform. An exception is terraform, to make a planet more like Earth, from Latin terra, earth, plus the English verb form. However, perform is from Old French par, through or to completion, plus fournir, to furnish or provide.
Nouns in -form are from a variety of sources and similarly are not examples of the combining form: chloroform is from chloro- plus the first part of formic acid; platform comes from the French plateforme, a ground plan (literally a flat shape); landform and microform both derive from the English noun form.
Examples of words in -form
All word sources are from Latin unless otherwise stated.
Relating to animal or plant shapes:
|coliform||belonging to a set of rod-shaped bacteria typified by Escherichia coli||coli, of the colon, since such bacteria are common in the gastrointestinal tract|
|cribriform||having an anatomical structure pierced by holes, such as the spinnerets of some kinds of spiders||cribrum, sieve|
|spongiform||having a porous structure resembling that of a sponge||from sponge|
|vermiform||resembling a worm||vermis, a worm|
Indicating a number of forms or parts:
|multiform||existing in many forms||multus, much or many|
|uniform||all of one kind or form||unus, one|
|variform||of a group of things that vary from one another in form||varius, diverse|
|cirriform||of the form of clouds composed of ice crystals, such as cirrus||cirrus, a curl|
|cruciform||having the shape of a cross||crux, cross|
|cuneiform||the wedge-shaped characters used in some ancient Middle-East writing systems; in anatomy and biology, something wedge-shaped||cuneus, wedge|
|stratiform||arranged in layers||stratum, something strewn or laid down|