trans·​for·​ma·​tion | \ ˌtran(t)s-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce transformation (audio) , -fȯr- \

Definition of transformation

1 : an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed
2 : false hair worn especially by a woman to replace or supplement natural hair
3a(1) : the operation of changing (as by rotation or mapping) one configuration or expression into another in accordance with a mathematical rule especially : a change of variables or coordinates in which a function of new variables or coordinates is substituted for each original variable or coordinate
(2) : the formula that effects a transformation
c : an operation that converts (as by insertion, deletion, or permutation) one grammatical string (such as a sentence) into another also : a formal statement of such an operation
4 : genetic modification of a bacterium by incorporation of free DNA from another bacterial cell also : genetic modification of a cell by the uptake and incorporation of exogenous DNA

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Examples of transformation in a Sentence

The building underwent various transformations over the years. a raven-haired starlet who underwent an attention-getting transformation and showed up at the awards ceremony as a blonde
Recent Examples on the Web Alabama’s transformation began in 2017, with Tua Tagovailoa, a five-star out of Hawaii who would lead the Crimson Tide to a title 12 months after arriving as an early enrollee. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State football, Alabama reach national championship with Heisman-level starters and bright futures at quarterback," 6 Jan. 2021 The ones with the leanest balance sheets are leading the transformation to the new normal. Kathleen Pender,, "Use it or lose it: Gift cards could become worthless if the issuer goes bankrupt," 2 Jan. 2021 The state was readying for war, improved communications and plane travel were altering the way people lived, and the lives of Alaska Natives were undergoing considerable stress and transformation. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "In the 1940s, 2 naïve, unprepared kids paddled down the Yukon River. The story of what happened is an Alaska classic.," 2 Jan. 2021 Seattle’s defensive transformation has been remarkable. Los Angeles Times, "NFL Week 17 picks: Washington wins and makes playoffs; Rams top Cardinals," 1 Jan. 2021 George Floyd watched Bryant soar, saw Boseman perform and felt Lewis’s political transformation. Essence, "2020 Taught Us: For Black Boys When Losing Heroes Becomes Too Much," 30 Dec. 2020 While coach Brian Flores and his staff deserve plenty of credit for Miami’s transformation, the executive who bought the groceries — as Parcells would say — deserves some recognition, too. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: General manager Chris Grier deserves recognition for Dolphins’ two-season transformation | Commentary," 29 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, Robbins was becoming an intriguing prospect after an incredible physical transformation. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Iowa native Liam Robbins readies for Gophers' clash against Hawkeyes," 24 Dec. 2020 The second was North Coast Repertory’s festive, Victorian-style version featuring James Newcomb as a surprise narrator with a vested interest in Scrooge’s transformation. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: ‘A Berkley Hart Christmas’ is the holiday special we need right now," 24 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transformation.' 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 transformation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for transformation

Time Traveler

The first known use of transformation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for transformation

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transformation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for transformation


How to pronounce transformation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of transformation

: a complete or major change in someone's or something's appearance, form, etc.


trans·​for·​ma·​tion | \ ˌtrans-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce transformation (audio) \

Kids Definition of transformation

: the act or process of changing completely : a complete change


trans·​for·​ma·​tion | \ ˌtran(t)s-fər-ˈmā-shən, -fȯr- How to pronounce transformation (audio) \

Medical Definition of transformation

1 : an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed — see malignant transformation
2a : genetic modification of a bacterium by incorporation of free DNA from another ruptured bacterial cell — compare transduction sense 2
b : genetic modification of a cell by the uptake and incorporation of exogenous DNA

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