configuration

noun
con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ kən-ˌfi-gyə-ˈrā-shən , 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

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Other Words from configuration

configurational \ kən-​ˌfi-​gyə-​ˈrā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl , ˌkän-​ , -​gə-​ˈrā-​ \ adjective
configurationally adverb
configurative \ kən-​ˈfi-​gyə-​rə-​tiv , -​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

The ice giant is tilted on its axis so that its pole practically points at the Sun—a unique configuration in our solar system indicative of a collision soon after the planet formed. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Hubble Observes Ice Giant Vortexes and Polar Storms on Neptune and Uranus," 9 Feb. 2019 Normally, the Soyuz has four boosters surrounding its main core that separate in a cross-like configuration during the flight. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Three astronauts will launch to space on Monday — two months after botched flight," 2 Dec. 2018 Pricing will start at $699 and go all the way to $1,399, depending on the model and configuration. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question: Will it fold?," 10 Jan. 2019 Apple now has five iPhone configurations priced at more than $1,000 in the U.S. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple: Time to Think Very Different," 4 Jan. 2019 The configurations of the Model 3s sitting in Tesla's inventory are unknown. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Report: Tesla has more than 3,300 Model 3s remaining in US inventory," 31 Dec. 2018 After the surgery, that can mean trying—and discarding—various configurations of eyeglasses, and juggling different pairs for different purposes. Daniel Akst, WSJ, "What Doctors Don’t Tell You About Cataract Surgery," 16 Nov. 2018 Both your thumbs are equidistant from each joystick and button configuration. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Grip I Use For My Nintendo Switch," 31 Dec. 2018 The 17-inch Gram is priced at $1,699.99 in this configuration. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "LG’s 17-inch Gram laptop shows up early on Best Buy’s website," 3 Dec. 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for configuration

The first known use of configuration was in 1559

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More Definitions for configuration

configuration

noun

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

configuration

noun
con·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ kən-ˌfig-(y)ə-ˈrā-shən, ˌkän- \

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 \ adjective
configurationally \ -​ē \ adverb
configurative \ -​ˈfig-​(y)ə-​rət-​iv \ adjective

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