Definition of formation in English:

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Pronunciation: /fɔːˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/


1 [mass noun] The action of forming or process of being formed: the formation of the Great Rift Valley
More example sentences
  • The creative process of formation was more important than the production of pictures.
  • Firstly, the process of government formation is going to be dominated by three factors.
  • During this time the molecular processes of memory formation which underlie addiction are accelerated.
emergence, coming into being, genesis, development, evolution, origination, shaping, generation
establishment, setting up, start, getting going, initiation, institution, founding, foundation, inception, creation, inauguration, organization, building, construction, installation, planting
2A thing that has been formed: strange black rock formations
2.1A group of people or things in a particular arrangement or pattern: they sat in orderly ranks in a circular formation [mass noun]: the jets took off in formation
More example sentences
  • Building on the tactics of skirmishers, open-order tactics possessed only loose tactical formations.
  • They were arrayed in a circular formation, guarding something within.
  • These are crystal formations with structured spaces or pores in them.
configuration, arrangement, pattern, array, alignment, positioning, disposition, order, ordering, organization, design, marshalling, grouping, layout, format



Example sentences
  • ‘To provide for the common defense’ is one of the formational principles of America.
  • The social formational power, over 75 years, of the song-dedication formula, in compensating what Thompson described as the ‘non-reciprocal intimacy’ of electronic media, is incalculable.
  • A resulting unexpected problem was that because the early practice of abilities was formational, students did not have as clear of a picture of where they stood with grades as they would have liked.


Late Middle English: from Latin formatio(n-), from formare 'to form' (see form).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: for|ma¦tion

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