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

The clam die-off was an alarming marker of a new climate era, an early sign of this coastline’s transformation. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Large parts of the globe have already passed a crucial climate threshold," 11 Sep. 2019 The airline isn't abandoning its a la carte model or trying to become the next Delta but is in the midst of a transformation to change travelers' perceptions of the carrier. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Stingy Spirit Airlines adding comfier seats, even in the middle," 9 Sep. 2019 See before and after photos of the striking transformation and keep clicking for a virtual tour of the luxurious property... NOTE: For more details on the property, contact Cassidy at 832-646-2982. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Rivercrest mansion tied to former Houston Rockets player undergoes striking transformation," 9 Sep. 2019 These projects bring a new line of genetic evidence to the process, to try to show the impact that the movement of people may have had as part of these two great cultural transformations of agriculture and language. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Rare Ancient DNA Provides Window Into a 5,000-Year-Old South Asian Civilization," 5 Sep. 2019 The narrative of Pompeo’s transformation has been rewritten over the years, or never told at all. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump," 19 Aug. 2019 The theory calls to mind images of Earth's own transformation approximately 65 million years ago, when an asteroid named Chicxulub triggered a mass extinction event and altered the planet's history. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Mars Used to Have a Huge Ocean, but Then a Mega-Tsunami Ruined Everything," 5 Aug. 2019 America's first post-Watergate presidential election marked a moment of transformation for Democratic Party politics. Steve Kornacki, NBC News, "1976: Jimmy Carter begins his march," 29 July 2019 Dave probes their anxieties in unsettling ways in the name of personal transformation, forcing Katie to revisit painful memories. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Dark Secrets at Book Club and a Deadly Wellness Retreat. 5 Unexpected Summer Thrillers," 25 July 2019

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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Statistics for transformation

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for transformation

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

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More Definitions for transformation



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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Comments on transformation

What made you want to look up transformation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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