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 Kelly arrived with plans to transform the institution from a commuter school to a world-class university. Victoria Ballard,, "Excalibur Awards honor South Florida business leaders," 19 Nov. 2020 Seiler, 55, witnessed the barrier collect protest signs and transform from a symbol of separation to a space of community healing — a living art gallery to honor those killed by police. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "How the Black Lives Matter memorial wall was resurrected after Trump supporters tore it down," 30 Oct. 2020 Today, social media have helped to further transform political discourse from reasoned argument to attention-grabbing images and memes. Richard Gunderman, The Conversation, "100 years ago, the first commercial radio broadcast announced the results of the 1920 election – politics would never be the same," 30 Oct. 2020 Today, social media have helped to further transform political discourse from reasoned argument to attention-grabbing images and memes. Richard Gunderman, Quartz, "100 years ago, broadcast media began transforming American politics," 30 Oct. 2020 The company’s makeover started in 1993 when Lee gathered top executives in Germany and laid out a plan, known as the Frankfurt Declaration, to transform Samsung from a second-tier television maker into an industry leader. Sohee Kim,, "Lee Kun-hee, Korean Icon Who Transformed Samsung, Dies at 78," 25 Oct. 2020 The goal should be to transform the practice from a virtuous-seeming exercise that drains funds from core public services, to one by which price signals assure taxpayers that diverted materials are actually recycled. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: A SPAC Fund & Palantir’s Public Listing," 29 Sep. 2020 The gap represents enough time for Perry to transform from a second-year player to the Stars' second-oldest player, to play over 900 games and become the 2011 regular-season league MVP, and to sign with Dallas on a one-year contract last offseason. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Corey Perry scores a cross-decade Stanley Cup Final milestone in Stars' Game 4 loss to Lightning," 26 Sep. 2020 Using video games as her medium, Minnesota entrepreneur Jules Porter is continuing her mission to transform the video game industry from within. Star Tribune, "Entrepreneur uses video games to empower," 11 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Birria, Beef Bourguignon and Irish Stew transform into lighter dishes with deer meat taking the place of the beef., "Express Briefing: Ex-bank president, 4 others indicted in fraud case," 12 Nov. 2020 The balls, presidential parade and throngs huddled together on the Mall that transform D.C. Washington Post, "What will Inauguration Day look like amid a pandemic?," 20 Aug. 2020 In Florida, Lacasse has seen the industry transform over time. Ashley Stimpson, Longreads, "Shades of Grey," 31 Oct. 2020 Still, not even astronauts can really watch the planet transform over time, given the brevity of their stints aboard the space station. Matt Simon, Wired, "See Earth Transform Like You're a Time-Traveling Astronaut," 14 Oct. 2020 And a battery that lasts 1 million miles will eliminate owners’ worries about durability and transform vehicles into valuable assets for the electricity bid. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla is preparing to take over the world with its new battery—just not yet," 23 Sep. 2020 Locals have watched the forest of their youth transform into an overgrown tinderbox. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Creek Fire ignites fire management debate on 102 million trees killed by beetles, drought," 16 Sep. 2020 He would have been promptly rewarded for winning an MLS Cup, for helping transform RSL from a league laughingstock to a league champion, for knowing how to work the team, the players, the organization here in Utah. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Here’s exactly what Real Salt Lake should do to become great again," 12 Sep. 2020 There have always been as many New Yorks as there are people who have lived there, and this beautiful essay by Colson Whitehead encapsulates the unique pain of watching your personal New York transform. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza on the importance of doing the work," 11 Sep. 2020

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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 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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