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 transform (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 When news of the Oakland Assembly food hall broke in 2019, it was announced with a lineup of buzzy Bay Area chefs and a prediction that the development would transform Jack London Square into a vibrant dining destination. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: Coronavirus testing isn't going away just yet, even if you're vaccinated," 30 Apr. 2021 Geomorphology, which Gunn studies at the University of Pennsylvania, looks at the way ice, water and air mold and transform the Earth’s landscapes. Richard Kemeny, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Extreme Temperature Swings in Deserts Stir Sand and Dust," 29 Apr. 2021 But taken together, the Biden plan would likely see billions in subsidies radically transform the broadband industry, building subsidized, government or utility-run networks to compete with or, in many cases, replace private providers. Doug Brake, National Review, "Biden’s Broadband Boondoggle," 29 Apr. 2021 Many companies have long held beliefs that limit their ability to respond and transform, Sear argues. David Prosser, Forbes, "Ten Ways For Businesses To Prosper In The Roaring Twenties," 28 Apr. 2021 Regardless, Duchenne believed that the use of photography and other technical systems would transform the squishy business of representation into something objective and evidentiary, more suitable for scientific study. Kate Crawford, The Atlantic, "Why We Shouldn’t Trust AI to Tell Us What We Feel," 27 Apr. 2021 Nearby are reinforcements of scallions, purple onion and a red hot sauce, one or all of which transform the bowl into something more complex. Washington Post, "Sisters Thai in Potomac reminds us that food isn’t everything," 23 Apr. 2021 The jelly should thicken and transform from a milky coffee color to a dark caramel. New York Times, "An Acorn Jelly That Brings Michelle Zauner Back," 22 Apr. 2021 No one is yet sure, but the answer may transform our understanding of parasite genomics. Quanta Magazine, "DNA of Giant ‘Corpse Flower’ Parasite Surprises Biologists," 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Growing up, Alsobrooks had watched the county transform from a mostly White, working-class suburb forced to integrate its schools into a mecca for Black professionals, who moved into stately subdivisions built on former slave plantations. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "The county where Black women hold power — a few miles from the White House," 27 Apr. 2021 These are the best essential kitchen tools, appliances and gadgets that will help your culinary game transform from good to great. Lizzy Briskin,, "Best kitchen essentials 2021," 14 Apr. 2021 When did this transform from an effort to target al Qaeda? Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, "Afghanistan: Why the US is there, why it's leaving, what will happen when it's gone," 14 Apr. 2021 Examples include the distribution of the nature of the IT spend (run and grow vs. transform) and capital expenditure on the current architecture (upgrades and evolutive maintenance). Bruno Mourao, Forbes, "Decomposing IT Legacy," 12 Apr. 2021 Watching a grimy, mundane stone transform into a fascinating gem can be awe-inspiring for kids and adults alike, and spark a life-long passion for polishing gems and studying earth sciences. Dave Johnson, Forbes, "10 Fun Educational Toys And Gadgets To Keep Your Kids Entertained During Spring Break," 18 Mar. 2021 With businesses around the world racing to adapt, digitize and transform, Microsoft’s efforts couldn’t come at a better time. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, "Microsoft’s Most Impactful Announcements At Ignite 2021," 4 Mar. 2021 When conditions are right, the falls transform and emit an enchanting ember glow reminiscent of lava or falling fire. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Yosemite’s ‘Firefall’ Natural Wonder Illuminates El Capitan Through the End of February," 19 Feb. 2021 In New York City last winter, Alice Ruscica and Corey D’Ambra watched a NICU transform before their eyes. Eva Holland, Wired, "Premature Babies and the Lonely Terror of a Pandemic NICU," 11 Feb. 2021

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for transform



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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