configuration

noun

con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion kən-ˌfi-gyə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce configuration (audio)
ˌkän-,
-gə-ˈrā-
1
a
: relative arrangement of parts or elements: such as
(1)
: shape
(2)
: contour of land
configuration of the mountains
(3)
: functional arrangement
a small business computer system in its simplest configuration
b
: something (such as a figure, contour, pattern, or apparatus) that results from a particular arrangement of parts or components
c
: the stable structural makeup of a chemical compound especially with reference to the space relations of the constituent atoms
2
: gestalt
personality configuration
configurational
kən-ˌfi-gyə-ˈrā-shnəl How to pronounce configuration (audio)
-shə-nᵊl
ˌkän-
-gə-ˈrā-
adjective
configurationally adverb
configurative
kən-ˈfi-gyə-rə-tiv How to pronounce configuration (audio)
-ˈfi-gə-
ˌkän-
adjective

Did you know?

The term is very common in computer science and mathematics, and in scientific and technological fields in general. Thus, for example, two scientists won a 1962 Nobel Prize for their description of the configuration of the DNA molecule. Since then, researchers have studied what different configurations within the DNA strands mean and what they control, and genetic engineers have tried to configure or reconfigure DNA in new ways to prevent or treat diseases.

Examples of configuration in a Sentence

We'll have to change the configuration of the system to accommodate the new server. the basic configuration of the building is that of a geodesic dome
Recent Examples on the Web This convertible Delta Children model has four different configurations and is on sale in three colors. Phoebe Sklansky, Parents, 8 July 2024 Maybe Murray and Westbrook would be able to play together in certain configurations. Bennett Durando, The Denver Post, 8 July 2024 Both routes will be served year-round with Alaska’s E175 aircraft, which has a 1-2 configuration in business class and 2-2 configuration in economy. Stella Shon, Travel + Leisure, 4 July 2024 Design, engineers, and manufacturing all work closely side-by-side to craft components and determine the right settings and configurations for each race car. Byjohn Kell, Fortune, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for configuration 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'configuration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

earlier, "relative position of the planets," borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, "form, relative position of the planets," borrowed from Late Latin configūrātiōn-, configūrātiō "comparison, shaping," from Latin configūrāre "to shape, mold" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at configure

First Known Use

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of configuration was in 1559

Dictionary Entries Near configuration

Cite this Entry

“Configuration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/configuration. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

configuration

noun
con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion kən-ˌfig-(y)ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce configuration (audio)
kän-
: arrangement of parts or the pattern produced by such arrangement

Medical Definition

configuration

noun
con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion kən-ˌfig-(y)ə-ˈrā-shən, ˌkän- How to pronounce configuration (audio)
1
a
: relative arrangement of parts or elements
b
: the stable structural makeup of a chemical compound especially with reference to the space relations of the constituent atoms
2
: gestalt
personality configuration
configurational adjective
configurationally adverb
configurative adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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