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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
Collaborations with JioMart to shop for groceries have transformed WhatsApp into a shopping destination, enabling shoppers to browse, inquire and purchase without ever leaving the app. Pratik Bhadra, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Furthermore, this strategy transforms passive reading into an active study session, making each review more productive. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Storms pummeling Southern California have dramatically transformed Death Valley National Park, doubling the size of a vast temporary lake that is even visible to orbiting spacecraft. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 China has recently transformed its presence in Latin America to play an important, even dominant, role in many of the region’s economies—a development that seriously threatens both Latin American and U.S. interests. Shannon K. O’Neil, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 In order to save the day, Peach must enter each play to change the endings back, transforming into different versions of herself along the way, including a pastry chef, ninja, cowgirl, swordfighter, mermaid and ice skater. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 French officials have made a lofty promise for the 2024 Olympics: To leverage the 4.5 billion euros being spent on infrastructure for the games to transform one of the country’s most notorious suburbs, Seine-Saint-Denis. Catherine Porter, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2024 The play saw numerous characters transform into rhinoceroses while others around them remained indifferent, a mass metamorphosis that mirrored the rise of Nazi fascism before World War II. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 20 Feb. 2024 Icon Juice Glasses, Set of 4 Heart Knobs Cabinet and door knobs are a surprisingly easy way to transform your space. Anne Loreto Cruz, Bon Appétit, 8 Feb. 2024 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 29 Feb. 2024.

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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