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
transformative \ tran(t)s-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​tiv How to pronounce transformative (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


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

Work to transform the former site of Carraway Methodist Medical Center is slated to begin next spring. Anna Beahm |,, "Carraway hospital site redevelopment slated to begin in Spring 2020," 30 June 2019 The artists plan to transform the plastic into sculptures and other works. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Environmentalists removed more than 40 tons of trash from the Pacific -- and it barely made a dent," 30 June 2019 Facial recognition technology stands to transform social life, tracking our every move for companies, law enforcement, and anyone else with the right tools. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "The Strange Politics of Facial Recognition," 28 June 2019 His achievement was to transform his memoir into something original, both a record and a model life for posterity. John Wilmerding, WSJ, "Between Fact and Imagination," 28 June 2019 The project has been touted as a way to transform struggling, lower-income nearby communities by creating jobs, attracting tourists and possibly sparking more investment. Lolly Bowean,, "Obama Foundation raised $165M last year toward Chicago presidential center, a drop from kickoff year," 28 June 2019 Driverless cars have the potential to transform the nature of cities, upend a country’s workforce, impact the environment and necessitate revisions to laws and ethics. Shira Ovide, Houston Chronicle, "Apple’s silence hurts effort on driverless cars," 28 June 2019 How could the world ever be ready for an app whose sole and explicit purpose is to transform regular photos of women into nudes within seconds? Sigal Samuel, Vox, "A guy made a deepfake app to turn photos of women into nudes. It didn’t go well.," 27 June 2019 The federal government is moving ahead with a plan to transform the application process for the controversial H-1B visa. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "H-1B visa: Government moves closer to new registration system," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wavelet transforms are now used everywhere from JPEG 2000 compression to the processing of the gravitational-wave signals detected by LIGO from the collisions of black holes. Quanta Magazine, "Yves Meyer, Wavelet Expert, Wins Abel Prize," 21 Mar. 2017 Your high energy and positive attitude transform nearly any situation., "Horoscope," 10 June 2019 The 16-year old transforms into a superhero for his latest starring role as Billy Batson in the DC Extended Universe film Shazam! Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About "Shazam!" Star Asher Angel," 15 Apr. 2019 To put it in perspective, a typical Fourier transform of a million pixel image will take about six million operations. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "A few Wi-Fi transmitters and your house becomes a coprocessor," 30 Apr. 2018 The home around her transforms, too: the walls crackle upward and the floor warmly glows like pools of lava. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Inside Imogen Heap’s cutting-edge VR concert," 23 Aug. 2018 To see the space transform from a lackluster office to a space that perfectly encapsulates the HelloGiggles spirit, check out the before and after pictures below. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "BEFORE & AFTER: The HelloGiggles Office Makeover," 30 Oct. 2014 But surprisingly little research investigates how feeling hungry transforms into feeling hangry. Jennifer Maccormack, Washington Post, "If you’ve ever been hangry, this is what your body may be telling you," 9 July 2018 But surprisingly little research investigates how feeling hungry transforms into feeling hangry. Jennifer Maccormack, Washington Post, "If you’ve ever been hangry, this is what your body may be telling you," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for transform

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for transform

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

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More Definitions for transform



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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