con·​for·​ma·​tion | \ ˌkän-(ˌ)fȯr-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce conformation (audio) , -fər- \

Definition of conformation

1 : the act of conforming or producing conformity : adaptation
2 : formation of something by appropriate arrangement of parts or elements : an assembling into a whole the gradual conformation of the embryo
3a : correspondence especially to a model or plan
b : structure
c : the shape or proportionate dimensions especially of an animal
d : any of the spatial arrangements of a molecule that can be obtained by rotation of the atoms about a single bond

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Other Words from conformation

conformational \ ˌkän-​(ˌ)fȯr-​ˈmā-​shnəl How to pronounce conformation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​fər-​ \ adjective

Examples of conformation in a Sentence

The dogs will be judged on conformation tomorrow. an ice sculpture in the conformation of a swan
Recent Examples on the Web Then, a structural comparison of the macrodomain’s chains revealed some differences in the residue conformation lining the ADP-ribose binding pocket. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Elephants frequently arrange their trunks into a periscope shape, for example, but the meaning of the conformation depends on circumstance. New York Times, 3 June 2021 McLellan specializes in finding just the right conformation of the target viral structures that will allow the human immune system to best recognize and build defenses against them. Maggie Fox, CNN, 1 June 2021 Struthoff noted most longhorn breeders now breed the cattle for conformation, color and other longhorn characteristics that typify the most perfect specimen, sort of like dog shows for cattle. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Feb. 2021 The AKC National Championship dog show is back in Orlando, bringing with it thousands of pooches and handlers to compete in events ranging from conformation to obedience to agility. Patrick Connolly,, 11 Dec. 2020 This open conformation enhances the virus’s ability to bind to human cells, according to Jeremy Luban, the University of Massachusetts Medical School virologist who ran the study. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2021 Still, breeds from Doberman Pinschers to Golden Retrievers to Great Danes took to the ring Friday, with handlers hoping to prove their dog’s conformation to breed standards set by the club. Patrick Connolly,, 11 Dec. 2020 But this conformation of the spike protein is unstable, so the Australian team introduced a bit of molecular material—the molecular clamp—to hold it in position. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, 11 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conformation.' 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 conformation

1511, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for conformation

Time Traveler

The first known use of conformation was in 1511

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Statistics for conformation

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conformation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for conformation



English Language Learners Definition of conformation

technical : the way in which something is formed or shaped


con·​for·​ma·​tion | \ ˌkän-(ˌ)fȯr-ˈmā-shən, -fər- How to pronounce conformation (audio) \

Medical Definition of conformation

: any of the spatial arrangements of a molecule that can be obtained by rotation of the atoms about a single bond

Other Words from conformation

conformational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce conformation (audio) \ adjective
conformationally \ -​ē How to pronounce conformation (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on conformation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conformation Encyclopedia article about conformation


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