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trans·​form tran(t)s-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio)
transformed; transforming; transforms

transitive verb

: to change in composition or structure
: to change the outward form or appearance of
: to change in character or condition : convert
: to subject to mathematical transformation
: to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation
transformable adjective


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trans·​form ˈtran(t)s-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce transform (audio)
: a mathematical element obtained from another by transformation
: 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"
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
By the dawn of the Eighties and the end of Lear’s heyday, TV had been transformed. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 6 Dec. 2023 What was once a haven for anarchic crypto commerce is about to be transformed into the opposite: perhaps the most fed-friendly business in the cryptocurrency industry, retroactively offering more than a half-decade of users' transaction records to US regulators and law enforcement. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 6 Dec. 2023 Recommended Gratitude The transforming power of a thank-you note The gathering attracted a large crowd among participants and country delegates, some of whom hugged the activists. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Dec. 2023 But Washington miscalculated the extent to which Ukraine’s forces could be transformed into a Western-style fighting force in a short period — especially without giving Kyiv air power integral to modern militaries. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 Jekyll Island Mini Golf has transformed into Peppermint Land, decorated with giant gumdrops and gingerbread men to make your game even sweeter. Brandee Gruener, Southern Living, 4 Dec. 2023 Sporting a robust battery, the device can even transform into a power bank giving users the ability to charge their smartphones or tablets through a dedicated USB-C power output. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 1 Dec. 2023 It has been left alone since then and is healing up beautifully through innumerable natural pathways and processes, once again transforming itself into a magnificent mature, living, diverse forest community — all the while sequestering and storing great amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 Now it’s being transformed into condominium units at 1305-1315 30th St. NW in D.C., with original and restored details that connect them to the building’s 200-year history. Hope Hodge Seck, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'transform.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Middle French transformer, from Latin transformare, from trans- + formare to form, from forma form

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of transform was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near transform

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to change completely in composition, structure, or character
: to change in outward appearance
: to substitute for or change (a mathematical expression) into another using a mathematical rule

Medical Definition


transitive verb
trans·​form tran(t)s-ˈfȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce transform (audio)
: to cause to change: as
: to change (a current) in potential (as from high voltage to low) or in type (as from alternating to direct)
: to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation

More from Merriam-Webster on transform

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