Definition of transformation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌtran(t)sfərˈmāSH(ə)n/


1A thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance: its landscape has undergone a radical transformation
More example sentences
  • In the former, there has been a radical transformation in the nature of the designs: artists have developed a new ‘ethnic’ style.
  • The character of the inner city has undergone a marked transformation since the City set up a rejuvenation plan five years ago.
  • Over the course of the last two decades the organisation of governmental activity has undergone a radical transformation.
change, alteration, mutation, conversion, metamorphosis, transfiguration, transmutation, sea change;
revolution, overhaul;
remodeling, reshaping, redoing, reconstruction, rebuilding, reorganization, rearrangement, reworking, renewal, revamp, remaking, remake
informal transmogrification, morphing
1.1A metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.
Example sentences
  • Both the molting process and the metamorphic transformation from larva to pupa are coordinated and regulated by hormones.
  • With apologies to those whose work we might leave out, we are still far from having a complete understanding of how the transformations of metamorphosis are controlled in even one species.
  • The metamorphic transformation from larva to pupa to butterfly (with a range of several hundred miles).
1.2 Physics The induced or spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process.
Example sentences
  • As a result of the nucleon transformations, a new proton is left behind in the nucleus and the atomic number of the atom is raised by one.
  • Except for the transformation of elements by nuclear reactions, all of the atoms in the universe heavier than helium are the products of the nuclear reactions that take place in dying stars.
  • In a series of experiments, he also found that slow neutrons were efficient agents of nuclear transformations and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1938.
1.3 Mathematics & Logic A process by which one figure, expression, or function is converted into another that is equivalent in some important respect but is differently expressed or represented.
Example sentences
  • His results on this topic provided connections between number theory, theta functions, and the transformations of abelian functions.
  • He thus enriched analysis and gave the complete solution of the two great questions of the transformation of hyperelliptic functions and of their complex multiplication.
  • Picard also discovered a group, now called the Picard group, which acts as a group of transformations on a linear differential equation.
1.4 Linguistics A process by which an element in the underlying deep structure of a sentence is converted to an element in the surface structure.
Example sentences
  • At the time he was busy mimeographing handouts about ordering constraints among syntactic transformations.
  • The transformation is typically carried out clausewise.
  • It's a fast language for doing all sorts of text transformations, and you can pick up the simpler elements, I think, from scratch in a week or two.
1.5 Biology The genetic alteration of a cell by introduction of extraneous DNA, especially by a plasmid.
Example sentences
  • Plasmid transformation, selection, and testing for recombinant clones were performed as described.
  • The genotype of each strain and plasmids used for transformation are indicated at the top.
  • For each transformation, the plasmid inserts from 7 to 18 colonies were sequenced.
1.6 Biology The heritable modification of a cell from its normal state to a malignant state.
Example sentences
  • It is currently believed that most colorectal carcinomas start as benign adenomas that undergo malignant transformation into adenocarcinoma.
  • They concluded that this was a case of malignant transformation of cardiac myxoma, but it could also have been multiple tumor emboli.
  • However, its potential function as a tumor suppressor gene suggests a possible role in the malignant transformation of mesothelial cells.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin transformatio(n-), from the verb transformare (see transform).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trans·for·ma·tion

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