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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

Example Sentences

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
Web3 technologies have amazing potential to transform digital ownership and funding. Michael Peres, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2022 At 5 years old, Grace began to understand her father's need to transform his appearance for his blockbuster hits. Jessica Sager, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform corporate decision making—to increase revenue, decrease costs and improve quality. Katherine C. Kellogg, WSJ, 5 Nov. 2022 United Kingdom Three chemistry PhD students founded LCM, which makes a carbon-negative alternative to one of concrete’s main ingredients with the potential to transform the building industry. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 3 Nov. 2022 The funding will help the city carry out efforts to transform a vacant waterfront site, once used to store coal, into an offshore wind turbine marshalling yard. Dharna Noor,, 28 Oct. 2022 Despite its huge popularity in Africa, soccer has a great untapped potential to transform Africa's cultural and creative landscape. Meron Demisse, Quartz, 27 Oct. 2022 The groundbreaking is the culmination of efforts to transform Havre de Grace into a regional arts hub. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 24 Oct. 2022 In her note to employees, Barra wrote that the pandemic has improved dramatically, allowing for a safe return to the office where GM's push to transform the company will benefit from more in-person collaboration. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 22 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 Nov. 2022.

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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