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 Among the offerings were Dank Vapes cartridges, which have been found to contain dangerous amounts of pesticides, including a fungicide that can transform into hydrogen cyanide when burned. NBC News, "'I really love the vibes': How Yelp boosts black market pot shops," 10 Feb. 2020 That is changing, however, in ways that could transform the field. The Economist, "Economists discover the power of social norms," 6 Feb. 2020 As the name implies, neural networks are networks of artificial neurons—mathematical functions that transform a set of input values into an output value. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Someone used neural networks to upscale a famous 1896 video to 4k quality," 4 Feb. 2020 The agency was established in 2003 to work with Houston homeless care providers to build and renovate shelters that transform lives. Houston Chronicle, "HomeAid observes holiday season with food baskets," 7 Dec. 2019 The brilliant illustrator was famous for skewering the U.K. establishment with frenetic cartoons and caricatures that transformed the everyday into surreal grotesqueries. Jordan Runtagh,, "The Wall at 40: Illustrator Gerald Scarfe Recalls Designing Pink Floyd’s Multimedia Masterpiece," 27 Nov. 2019 And Ohio — which Mr. Trump took by eight percentage points — fell into step with the political re-sorting that is transforming the Republican Party into the home of white Americans who feel left behind by globalization and technological change. New York Times, "How the G.O.P. Became the Party of the Left Behind," 27 Jan. 2020 For energy companies, this means moving quickly to reduce emissions from their own operations while developing the clean energy technologies that can transform global energy. Fatih Birol For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The energy sector is crucial for cutting global emissions. It's time to step up to the challenge," 23 Jan. 2020 Charismatic chaebol tycoons like Mr. Shin were credited with engineering the dramatic industrialization that transformed the country into one of Asia’s leading economies after the destruction of the Korean War in the 1950s. Choe Sang-hun,, "‘Chewing Gum Tycoon’ of Lotte Group, Shin Kyuk-ho, Dies at 98," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Tuesday, hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state went to Reeltown High School to watch Taylor transform from student to officer. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Special needs student's dream of becoming a cop fulfilled by school resource officer," 8 Jan. 2020 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

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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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