[ kuhn-fig-yuh-rey-shuhn ]
/ kənˌfɪg yəˈreɪ ʃən /
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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.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

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

OTHER WORDS FROM configuration

con·fig·u·ra·tion·al, con·fig·u·ra·tive [kuhn-fig-yer-uh-tiv, -yuh-rey-tiv], /kənˈfɪg yər ə tɪv, -yəˌreɪ tɪv/, adjectivecon·fig·u·ra·tion·al·ly, adverbpre·con·fig·u·ra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use configuration in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for configuration

/ (kənˌfɪɡjʊˈreɪʃən) /

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 of configuration

configurational or configurative, adjectiveconfigurationally, adverb

Word Origin for configuration

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

Medical definitions for configuration

[ kən-fĭg′yə-rāshən ]

The arrangement of parts or elements of a whole, especially the structural arrangement of atoms in a compound or molecule.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.