formation

noun for·ma·tion \ fȯr-ˈmā-shən \
Updated on: 16 May 2018

Definition of formation

1 : an act of giving form or shape to something or of taking form : development
2 : something that is formed
  • new word formations
3 : the manner in which a thing is formed : structure
  • the peculiar formation of the heart
4 : a major kind of plant growth (such as forest, grassland, or tundra) characteristic of a broad ecological region
5 a : any igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock represented as a unit
b : any sedimentary bed or consecutive series of beds sufficiently homogeneous or distinctive to be a unit
6 : an arrangement of a body or group of persons or things in some prescribed manner or for a particular purpose
  • flying in formation

Examples of formation in a Sentence

  1. The book explains the formation of the planets.

  2. The soldiers were marching in formation.

  3. The team ran on the field and lined up in a punt formation.

Recent Examples of formation from the Web

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

First Known Use of formation

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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FORMATION Defined for English Language Learners

formation

Definition of formation for English Language Learners

  • : the act of forming or creating something

  • : something that is formed or created

  • : an orderly arrangement or group of people, ships, or airplanes


FORMATION Defined for Kids

formation

noun for·ma·tion \ fȯr-ˈmā-shən \

Definition of formation for Students

1 : a creation or development of something
  • the formation of good habits
2 : something that is formed or created
  • a cloud formation
3 : an arrangement of something
  • battle formation
  • punt formation

Medical Dictionary

formation

noun for·ma·tion \ fȯr-ˈmā-shən \

medical Definition of formation

1 : an act of giving form or shape to something or of taking form : development
2 : the manner in which a thing is formed : structure


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