Is there a word to describe a general class of objects which are specifically designed to hold the form or shape of another object.

Almost the opposite or inverse of a mould. In a similar way that a skeleton holds the shape of a body, or a cobbler's iron holds the shape of a shoe while being worked upon.

I'm thinking of something in a similar vein to a brace, frame, scaffold, or a jig. Specifically a solid object inside of another object that would not hold its form otherwise.

The context in which I wish to use this word:

"The coil is wound and bound tightly to the plastic word, in order that the coil maintains it shape and form"

3 Answers 3


I suggest the word former:

The coil is wound and bound tightly to the plastic former, in order that the coil maintains it shape and form.

The Lexico entry says


1.1 A tool, mould, or other device used to form articles or shape materials.

The sheets are drawn over shaped formers to the extent that they deform plastically and assume the required profiles.

  • 1
    I think you win a coconut!
    – user27119
    Apr 1, 2020 at 15:33
  • 1
    Or just form. Apr 1, 2020 at 16:32
  • @KevinKrumwiede that is more like a mould: for example formwork to contain concrete, but OP wants the opposite. Apr 1, 2020 at 16:40
  • @WeatherVane The word form doesn't suggest positive or negative to me (AmE). And the second definition you quoted contains the word mould. Apr 1, 2020 at 17:03
  • @KevinKrumwiede that's a fair observation, I suggest you write an answer. Apr 1, 2020 at 17:10

Armature, in the arts. It's the second definition in most dictionaries, but wire as armature is quite common.


  1. An open framework on which a sculpture is moulded with clay or similar material.

We do build twisted aluminium wire armatures (skeleton-like structures that the model can be built around) which are used for models with simple or limited movement.

2.1 A framework or formal structure, especially of a literary work.

Shakespeare's plots have served as the armature for many novels.

  • I really like this word! I hadn't come across it. It doesn't feel quite right for my purpose, but +1 because you taught me something new.
    – user27119
    Apr 1, 2020 at 15:32

Scaffold is what came to mind while going through your question, then i read that you are already look for a word similar to that.

What about


Also may I know in what context you intend to use this?

  • Yes skeleton also came to mind, but specifically one solid object. I'll add the conext to the question.
    – user27119
    Apr 1, 2020 at 7:28
  • 2
    What about 'frame'? Apr 1, 2020 at 7:46
  • 1
    Might be a bit far-fetched but what about 'core'?
    – Davis
    Apr 1, 2020 at 7:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.