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 Originally a military fortress, in the 18th century it was transformed into a royal residence for Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "The Danube River trifecta: Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest," 28 Nov. 2019 Now, the space has been transformed — at least in cuisine — to serve curries, crab cakes, Cantonese shrimp dumplings and other Southeast Asian menu items popularized at the original ChoLon on Blake Street. Josie Sexton, The Know, "A popular downtown Asian bistro opens a Stapleton outpost," 26 Nov. 2019 Its industry, estimated to be worth $300bn, is, like those of its clients, being transformed. The Economist, "Schumpeter Rethinking McKinsey," 21 Nov. 2019 The pack's comfortable hip belt has dual pockets and a detachable lid that can be transformed into a daypack. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Best Hiking Backpacks for Every Outdoor Adventure," 20 Nov. 2019 But the edginess has a different source than usual this week in Madrid, where Davis Cup’s final rounds have been radically transformed by an unlikely partnership between the International Tennis Federation and the Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "A Reworked Davis Cup Requires Some Patience," 20 Nov. 2019 There is a show here — and, frankly, much could be transformed simply by adding more fresh music and cutting globs of text. Chris Jones,, "Review: For Steppenwolf’s 'Lindiwe,’ the story should be Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Instead it goes somewhere strange.," 17 Nov. 2019 The fundraiser for The Salvation Army of Broward County showcased restored, redesigned, rehabilitated furniture and home accessories that were transformed into one-of-a-kind art pieces. Kari Barnett,, "Furniture transformed into art at Salvation Army’s Red Shield ReDesign Bash," 6 Nov. 2019 One bad day after another slowly drives Arthur Fleck to madness and by the film's end, he's transformed into the Joker -- and ultimately, an unintentional symbol of the downtrodden. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "In protests around the world, one image stands out: The Joker," 3 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And once Karatsuba opened the door to faster multiplication in 1960, mathematicians have been setting new speed records ever since using advanced techniques like the Fourier transform. Quanta Magazine, "On Your Mark, Get Set, Multiply," 23 Sep. 2019 For example, a little bourbon and brown sugar mixed with butter, salt and pepper transforms ordinary sweet potatoes and winter squash into a side dish that steals the spotlight. Washington Post, "Bourbon can make many foods better," 4 Nov. 2019 By late October, many wineries are nearing the end of their harvest season, but most still have active fermentations going, as the grape juice transforms into wine. Esther Mobley,, "Wildfires and Wine Country: How the industry is adapting to new realities," 26 Oct. 2019 The sanitary district transforms wastewater into drinking water, Carroll said — another fact little known by the public. Daily Pilot, "For Costa Mesa Sanitary District, letting 75 years go to waste is a good thing," 10 Oct. 2019 This easy weeknight meal transforms leftover shredded chicken into a spicy meal in about 15 minutes., "Tuesday Recipe: Chicken Tinga Tacos," 28 Aug. 2019 Spruill says the aquarium can’t stay silent as the pace of global warming transforms oceans. Jon Chesto,, "New England Aquarium takes a more active role in climate-change fight," 8 July 2019 Chocolate and pumpkin transform ice cream sandwiches from a summertime sweet to a Halloween (trick or) treat! The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Chocolate and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches," 1 Aug. 2019 The hoisin-mint marinade recipe that follows transforms fast-cooking pork tenderloin and chicken pieces. Jeanmarie Brownson, Twin Cities, "Refresh your summer cooking with versatile mint for grilled meats, salads and tea," 18 July 2019

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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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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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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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Comments on transform

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