n. pl. fo·rums also fo·ra (fôrə)
a. The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business.
b. A public meeting place for open discussion.
c. A medium for open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a newspaper, a radio or television program, or a website.
2. A public meeting or presentation involving a discussion usually among experts and often including audience participation.
a. An area of legal authority; a jurisdiction.
b. A court of law or tribunal.
[Middle English, from Latin; see dhwer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.