EpicentRx Word of the Week: Forme Fruste

Mar 25, 2024

“Below is a hopefully not incomplete definition of the term, forme fruste”.

Forme Fruste noun

fawm froost

plural formes frustes

fawm froost


The incomplete expression of a condition that almost but does not quite meet the usual diagnostic criteria.

Example sentences:

“The antonym of forme fruste in medicine is forme pleine, which refer to the complete, or full-blown, manifestation of a disease.”

“Essential tremor is suspected by some researchers to be a forme fruste of Parkinson’s Disease.”

“Administration of some drugs can unmask a subclinical (forme fruste) disease syndrome.”

“The forme fruste of a disease may represent the tip of the iceberg with only a small part of it that is visible on the surface”.


From the French meaning “crude, or unfinished, form”.