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 As Doncic has progressed from Rookie of the Year to MVP candidate and Dallas has transformed from rebuilding franchise to Western Conference playoff contender, is that statistically the case? Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "With defenses playing more aggressively, Rick Carlisle, Mavericks want NBA officials to put some respect on their name," 12 Jan. 2020 For nearly a century, Central Clinic has transformed behavioral health services, so individuals and families are empowered to achieve overall wellness. Jane Vanderhorst,, "Central Clinic Behavioral Health receives grant from the CareSource Foundation," 11 Jan. 2020 The San Luis Obispo UC Cooperative Extension has transformed its parking lot into a bioswale demonstration. Dakota Kim, Sunset Magazine, "These Rain Gardens Clean City Stormwater with Flowers and Trees," 10 Jan. 2020 Over the past several years, The Bachelor has transformed its usual three-hour finale into a huge two-night event, with each night clocking in at two hours a piece. Kelly Schremph,, "This Is Why The Bachelor Premiere Is So Dang Long," 6 Jan. 2020 An escape from Japanese authorities to Turkey and then to Lebanon has transformed Ghosn into an international fugitive. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Carlos Ghosn, wanted by Interpol after escape, joins list of auto executives who have flouted convention and the law," 2 Jan. 2020 Although the bill has been shelved, the demonstrations have transformed into a wider movement against the erosion of the former British colony's civil liberties promised after the city was handed over to China in 1997. NBC News, "Hong Kong Police clash with protesters as thousands join New Year's Day rally," 1 Jan. 2020 For his first opera, Hans Abrahamsen—a Danish compatriot of Andersen’s and composer—has transformed the tale of a girl’s quest for a lost friend bewitched by icy powers into a sparkling snowscape of orchestral and vocal colours. The Economist, "A new retelling of “The Snow Queen” is aimed squarely at adults," 31 Dec. 2019 No other company has transformed more dramatically this decade. Wired Staff, Wired, "The Most Dangerous People on the Internet This Decade," 31 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Spacious transforms empty areas in restaurants during the day into co-working spaces. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "The Cautionary Tale of Three Startups Acquired by WeWork," 13 Dec. 2019 Weinstein says, such as brisket, oxtail and chuck roast, with time and low heat helping transform meat from tough to tender. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Slow cookers vs. multicookers (a.k.a. Instant Pots): Which is right for you?," 23 Dec. 2019 If group members propose changes that are adopted by the NCAA and that transform college athletes’ rights into a system similar to the one required by the Act, the Act’s impact would likely prove modest rather than transformative. Michael Mccann,, "What's Next After California Signs Game Changer Fair Pay to Play Act Into Law?," 30 Sep. 2019 The customers inevitably choose the most decrepit structure, which the Gaineses transform from rags to riches. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Waco, Tex., needed fixing. Luckily, Chip and Joanna Gaines had the tools.," 6 Dec. 2019 During the brief period between Thanksgiving and the new year, New York transforms from its typical concrete jungle feel to what can seem like the inside of a holiday snow globe. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting: What you don't get to see when you watch on TV," 5 Dec. 2019 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

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 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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Comments on transform

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experienced by way of someone else

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