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[trans-fer-mey-shuh n] /ˌtræns fərˈmeɪ ʃən/
the act or process of transforming.
the state of being transformed.
change in form, appearance, nature, or character.
Theater. a seemingly miraculous change in the appearance of scenery or actors in view of the audience.
Logic.. Also called transform. one of a set of algebraic formulas used to express the relations between elements, sets, etc., that form parts of a given system.
  1. the act, process, or result of transforming or mapping.
  2. function (def 4a).
  1. transformational rule.
  2. the process by which deep structures are converted into surface structures using transformational rules.
Genetics. the transfer of genetic material from one cell to another resulting in a genetic change in the recipient cell.
a wig or hairpiece for a woman.
Origin of transformation
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin trānsfōrmātiōn- (stem of trānsfōrmātiō) change of shape. See trans-, formation
Related forms
transformational, adjective
nontransformation, noun
retransformation, noun
self-transformation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for transformation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Roberts, at least, was prepared to appreciate its transformation.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • But you are so lost in your news that you have not observed my transformation.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • So far as the man's head and face went, the transformation was perfect.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Davenport had a letter from you before he—before any transformation could have begun.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • One touch with a sword of state, and the transformation was effected.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for transformation


a change or alteration, esp a radical one
the act of transforming or the state of being transformed
  1. a change in position or direction of the reference axes in a coordinate system without an alteration in their relative angle
  2. an equivalent change in an expression or equation resulting from the substitution of one set of variables by another
(physics) a change in an atomic nucleus to a different nuclide as the result of the emission of either an alpha-particle or a beta-particle Compare transition (sense 5)
(linguistics) another word for transformational rule
an apparently miraculous change in the appearance of a stage set
(in South Africa) a national strategy aimed at attaining national unity, promoting reconciliation through negotiated settlement and non-racism
Derived Forms
transformational, adjective
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 transformation

c.1400, from Old French transformation and directly from Latin transformationem (nominative transformatio), noun of action from past participle stem of transformare (see transform).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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transformation in Medicine

transformation trans·for·ma·tion (trāns'fər-mā'shən, -fôr-)

  1. See metamorphosis.

  2. The genetic alteration of a bacterial cell by introduction of DNA from another cell or from a virus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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transformation in Science
  1. The genetic alteration of a bacteria cell by the introduction of DNA from another cell or from a virus. Plasmids, which contain extrachromosomal DNA, are used to transform bacteria in recombinant DNA research.

  2. The change undergone by an animal cell upon infection by a cancer-causing virus.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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