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

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Other Words from 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 Most of his damage against Kansas State came with true freshman center Jake Majors and left tackle Andrej Karic in the game, the same configuration No. 20 Texas (6-3, 5-3 Big 12) will use against Colorado. Nick Moyle,, "Alamo Bowl can be showcase for Texas RB Bijan Robinson," 24 Dec. 2020 The amount of meat that a grinder can process per minute is not just a function of motor size, but also of the auger configuration, hopper size, and internal elements such as the number of blades on the knife and the size of the grinding discs. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Features You Need in Your First Meat Grinder," 23 Nov. 2020 Instead, Subaru replaced the BRZ's current 2.0-liter flat-four with its 2.4-liter of the same configuration. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "2022 Subaru BRZ Gets Prettier and More Powerful," 20 Nov. 2020 Sixteen baits of each configuration are in the box, except for the 3-inch Slim Stix, which numbers 12. Colin Moore, Field & Stream, "What’s New in Crappie Gear and Baits for This Season," 19 Nov. 2020 Some details of configuration or even hardware may change between this sample and final retail units. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Sneak Preview: MSI Summit Tiger Lake-powered business laptop," 20 Oct. 2020 That would usually give the defense an advantage, but Texas dominated Kansas State in a 69-31 win behind that configuration. Nick Moyle,, "Texas looks to defend Alamo Bowl title against Colorado," 28 Dec. 2020 The offensive line performed well, so look for this configuration to persist. Childs Walker,, "Ravens snap-count analysis: Emphasis on run means big nights for Miles Boykin, Patrick Ricard," 9 Dec. 2020 These and other router companion programs also often require some painstaking configuration after installation to add human-readable names to devices that may only be identified by network addresses. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Sluggish Wi-Fi? Here's how to find out who – or what – is hogging your bandwidth," 27 Nov. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for configuration

Time Traveler

The first known use of configuration was in 1559

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Statistics for configuration

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Configuration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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 configuration (audio) \ adjective
configurationally \ -​ē How to pronounce configuration (audio) \ adverb
configurative \ -​ˈfig-​(y)ə-​rət-​iv How to pronounce configuration (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on configuration

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