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[kuh n-fig-yuh-rey-shuh n] /kənˌfɪg yəˈreɪ ʃən/
the relative disposition or arrangement of the parts or elements of a thing.
external form, as resulting from this; conformation.
  1. the relative position or aspect of heavenly bodies.
  2. a group of stars.
Chemistry. an atomic spatial arrangement that is fixed by the chemical bonding in a molecule and that cannot be altered without breaking bonds (contrasted with conformation).
  1. the way a computer or computer system is put together; a specific set and arrangement of internal and external components, including hardware, software, and devices.
  2. the way a software program or device is set up for a particular computer, computer system, or task; the specific settings for a program or device:
    configuration of your email program to work with your new ISP.
Origin of configuration
1550-60; < Late Latin configūrātiōn- (stem of configūrātiō), equivalent to Latin configūrāt(us) shaped like its model, past participle of configūrāre to mold, shape (con- con- + figūr(a) figure + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
configurational, configurative
[kuh n-fig-yer-uh-tiv, -yuh-rey-tiv] /kənˈfɪg yər ə tɪv, -yəˌreɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA),
configurationally, adverb
preconfiguration, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for configurational
Historical Examples
  • Nevertheless, the game has a configurational nature: the aim is to maintain the ball in the air for as long as possible.

  • Visual representation, as opposed to language expression, attains coherence as a whole, and the whole is configurational.

  • This is why their sequentiality conflicts with subjects of configurational condition.

British Dictionary definitions for configurational


the arrangement of the parts of something
the external form or outline achieved by such an arrangement
(physics, chem)
  1. Also called conformation. the shape of a molecule as determined by the arrangement of its atoms
  2. the structure of an atom or molecule as determined by the arrangement of its electrons and nucleons
(psychol) the unit or pattern in perception studied by Gestalt psychologists
(computing) the particular choice of hardware items and their interconnection that make up a particular computer system
Derived Forms
configurational, configurative, adjective
configurationally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin configūrātiō a similar formation, from configūrāre to model on something, from figūrāre to shape, fashion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for configurational



1550s, from Latin configurationem (nominative configuratio), noun of action from past participle stem of configurare (see configure).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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configurational in Medicine

configuration con·fig·u·ra·tion (kən-fĭg'yə-rā'shən)

  1. The arrangement of parts or elements of a whole, especially the structural arrangement of atoms in a compound or molecule.

  2. Gestalt.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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