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

Definition of transform

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to change in composition or structure
b : to change the outward form or appearance of
c : to change in character or condition : convert
2 : to subject to mathematical transformation
3 : to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation


trans·​form | \ ˈtran(t)s-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio) \

Definition of transform (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a mathematical element obtained from another by transformation
3 : 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"

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Other Words from transform


transformable \ tran(t)s-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce transformable (audio) \ adjective

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

Examples of transform in a Sentence

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: Verb The 25-year-old spent the offseason not only trying to transform his body to be a little more injury-resistant but transforming his mind to learn how to deal with the natural highs and lows of an NFL season. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts: Get ready to see more Tyquan Lewis after bye week," 21 Oct. 2020 Wertheim’s book contributes to the effort to transform U.S. foreign policy by giving pro-restraint Americans a usable past. Daniel Bessner, The New Republic, "America Has No Duty to Rule the World," 21 Oct. 2020 The Trump administration has sought to take advantage of the technology’s power to transform society while curbing its potential nefarious uses. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "White House Nears New Rules on Artificial Intelligence," 21 Oct. 2020 But last year, an anonymous programmer trained the underlying software on thousands of photos of naked women, effectively teaching the system to transform women from clothed to nude. Washington Post, "A shadowy AI service has transformed thousands of women’s photos into fake nudes: “Make fantasy a reality”," 20 Oct. 2020 That shared sense of vulnerability could open our hearts to the need to transform our world for the common good. Robert Kunzig, National Geographic, "Let’s not waste this crucial moment: We need to stop abusing the planet," 13 Oct. 2020 The moves have the potential to transform YouTube from an advertising giant into a new contender for e-commerce leaders such as Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Mark Bergen,, "Google Plans to Make YouTube a Major Shopping Destination," 9 Oct. 2020 Some organizations are working to transform the fears elicited by Trump's comments into votes. Kat Stafford, Star Tribune, "Trump debate comment pushing Black Americans, others to vote," 2 Oct. 2020 Here are my suggestions to transform your space from drab to fab. The Washington Post, "Q&A: Terry Lin on making the most of your outdoor space," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, not even astronauts can really watch the planet transform over time, given the brevity of their stints aboard the space station. Matt Simon, Wired, "See Earth Transform Like You're a Time-Traveling Astronaut," 14 Oct. 2020 And a battery that lasts 1 million miles will eliminate owners’ worries about durability and transform vehicles into valuable assets for the electricity bid. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla is preparing to take over the world with its new battery—just not yet," 23 Sep. 2020 Locals have watched the forest of their youth transform into an overgrown tinderbox. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Creek Fire ignites fire management debate on 102 million trees killed by beetles, drought," 16 Sep. 2020 He would have been promptly rewarded for winning an MLS Cup, for helping transform RSL from a league laughingstock to a league champion, for knowing how to work the team, the players, the organization here in Utah. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Here’s exactly what Real Salt Lake should do to become great again," 12 Sep. 2020 There have always been as many New Yorks as there are people who have lived there, and this beautiful essay by Colson Whitehead encapsulates the unique pain of watching your personal New York transform. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza on the importance of doing the work," 11 Sep. 2020 Your words could pass new laws, transform society, spark revolutions, change minds and hearts, or help heal our communities. Star Tribune, "Criminal justice reform youth essay, video and audio contest," 17 Aug. 2020 The GeForce 256 was the first graphics card to features hardware transform and lighting effects. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Nvidia GeForce Ampere may arrive on August 31, tweet suggests," 10 Aug. 2020 The uptick makes sense: At a time when consumers may be leery of congregating indoors, drive-ins transform cars into dining rooms, and also offer the option of open-air picnics. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "7 Twin Cities drive-in restaurants that turn your car into a dining room," 29 July 2020

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.

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First Known Use of transform


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


1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for transform


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

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Learn More about transform

Time Traveler for transform

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for transform

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for transform


How to pronounce transform (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transform

: to change (something) completely and usually in a good way


trans·​form | \ trans-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio) \
transformed; transforming

Kids Definition of transform

: to change completely The pumpkin had been transformed into a gleaming coach …— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted


transitive verb
trans·​form | \ tran(t)s-ˈfȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce transform (audio) \

Medical Definition of transform

: to cause to change: as
a : to change (a current) in potential (as from high voltage to low) or in type (as from alternating to direct)
b : to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation

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