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trans·​form tran(t)s-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio)
transformed; transforming; transforms

transitive verb

: to change in composition or structure
: to change the outward form or appearance of
: to change in character or condition : convert
: to subject to mathematical transformation
: to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation
transformable adjective


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trans·​form ˈtran(t)s-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio)
: a mathematical element obtained from another by transformation
: a linguistic structure (such as a sentence) produced by means of a transformation
"the duckling is killed by the farmer" is a transform of "the farmer kills the duckling"
Choose the Right Synonym for transform

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing.

transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function.

transformed a small company into a corporate giant

metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power.

awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas

transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing.

attempted to transmute lead into gold

convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function.

converted the study into a nursery

transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis.

a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince

transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies.

joy transfigured her face

Example Sentences

Verb A little creativity can transform an ordinary meal into a special event. The old factory has been transformed into an art gallery.
Recent Examples on the Web
To maximize your skin's glow, this serum contains both vitamin C and gentle chemical exfoliants to completely transform your skin's texture over time. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 14 Jan. 2023 What followed was a years-long series of legal entanglements that helped transform the rapper into an advocate for criminal justice reform. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 13 Jan. 2023 One popular theory is that the bot could transform web search. WIRED, 13 Jan. 2023 Otherwise, Susanne Kaufmann and Osea’s formulas expertly combat dryness and transform flaky skin. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 12 Jan. 2023 Enter the walk-in shower, which can transform an otherwise workaday bathroom into a bona fide wellness haven. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 12 Jan. 2023 The imagery allows the abstract jungle to take shape and transform into a high school cafeteria. Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2023 Investing in new bed linens is a relatively inexpensive method to easily transform a bedroom. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 11 Jan. 2023 That leverage, hiding in plain sight, could be a tool to transform an industry that remains stubbornly unwilling to change itself. Byellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Middle French transformer, from Latin transformare, from trans- + formare to form, from forma form

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of transform was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near transform

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to change completely in composition, structure, or character
: to change in outward appearance
: to substitute for or change (a mathematical expression) into another using a mathematical rule

Medical Definition


transitive verb
trans·​form tran(t)s-ˈfȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce transform (audio)
: to cause to change: as
: to change (a current) in potential (as from high voltage to low) or in type (as from alternating to direct)
: to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation

More from Merriam-Webster on transform

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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