Definition of formation in English:


Syllabification: for·ma·tion
Pronunciation: /fôrˈmāSHən


  • 2A structure or arrangement of something: a cloud 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
  • 2.1A formal arrangement of aircraft in flight or troops: a battle formation the helicopters hovered overhead in formation
    More example sentences
    • The 12 aircraft turned east in formation and descended to 5,000 feet.
    • Aircraft flying in formation normally maintain equal distances from one another.
    • The troops then marched in formation to the gate and the camp was handed over to a contingent of troops from Ghana.
  • 2.2 Geology An assemblage of rocks or series of strata having some common characteristic.
    More example sentences
    • Using analogous colors would have broken down the cohesive whole into smaller but related parts like strata in a rock formation.
    • Why, then, is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?
    • Pyroclastic rocks are preserved in nearly every limestone and sandstone formation of the Hungarian Palaeogene Basin.



More 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 formation-, from formare 'to form' (see form).

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