con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ kən-ˌfi-gyə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce configuration (audio) , ˌkän-, -gə-ˈrā- \

Definition of configuration

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from configuration

configurational \ kən-​ˌfi-​gyə-​ˈrā-​shnəl How to pronounce configurational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , ˌkän-​ , -​gə-​ˈrā-​ \ adjective
configurationally adverb
configurative \ kən-​ˈfi-​gyə-​rə-​tiv How to pronounce configurative (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 handy bag goes from backpack to tote, thanks to a smart carry handle and strap configuration. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Adidas is offering up to 30% off bags, hats and more accessories," 8 July 2020 Maserati has employed a dual-spark-plug configuration with an innovative pre-chamber combustion system integrated into the cylinder heads. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Maserati Unveils 621-HP V-6 for the Upcoming MC20 Sports Coupe," 2 July 2020 Hot off the launch of an interchangeable camera system earlier this month, Raspberry Pi is introducing a new configuration of the Pi4: a model with a whopping 8GB of RAM. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "New Raspberry Pi 4 model comes with a ton of RAM: 8GB," 28 May 2020 The battery replacements, which will have a 20-year lifetime, will put the station in a much better configuration for the long term, said Kenneth Todd, deputy International Space Station program manager, during a NASA press conference last week. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA astronauts conduct second spacewalk for space station power upgrades," 1 July 2020 Ford also says the option is available in models equipped with a front bench seat; in this configuration, the middle seatback folds to create a console, and the top of that console can slide out and rotate to create the table. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2021 Ford F-150 Will Offer Desk-Like Surface, Sleeper Seats," 26 June 2020 The tri-wood construction includes a fast-action maple neck, poplar body, and jatoba fretboard, all assembled with the same strict configuration and construction quality of its full-size counterpart. Popular Science, "Four easy-to-play, short scale electric basses," 19 June 2020 The new configuration includes alternated single and two-person pairs, placed one or two spaces apart, with every other row completely removed. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "This Theater in Berlin Is Showing the World How the Show Will Go on," 17 June 2020 After designing the ideal watch, the customer can forward the configuration to the local Porsche dealership where the order can be placed. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Porsche Design Launches Custom Watch for 911 Owners," 1 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'configuration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of configuration

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for configuration

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about configuration

Time Traveler for configuration

Time Traveler

The first known use of configuration was in 1559

See more words from the same year

Statistics for configuration

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Configuration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for configuration


How to pronounce configuration (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of configuration

: the way the parts of something are arranged
computers : the way a computer system or program is prepared for a particular use


con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ kən-ˌfig-(y)ə-ˈrā-shən, ˌkän- How to pronounce configuration (audio) \

Medical Definition of configuration

1a : 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

Other Words from configuration

configurational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce configurational (audio) \ adjective
configurationally \ -​ē How to pronounce configurationally (audio) \ adverb
configurative \ -​ˈfig-​(y)ə-​rət-​iv How to pronounce configurative (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on configuration

What made you want to look up configuration? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!