the act or process of forming or the state of being formed: the formation of ice.
the manner in which a thing is formed; disposition of parts; formal structure or arrangement.
a particular disposition of troops, as in columns, squares, etc.
any required assembling of the soldiers of a unit.
a body of rocks classed as a stratigraphic unit for geologic mapping.: Compare member (def. 8).
the process of depositing rock or mineral of a particular composition or origin.
- for·ma·tion·al, adjective
- mis·for·ma·tion, noun
- non·for·ma·tion, noun
- self-for·ma·tion, noun
- sub·for·ma·tion, noun
- su·per·for·ma·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use formation in a sentence
The formation of the Earth was a violent process, marked by shuddering asteroid impacts and infernal, large-scale collisions.These Images Expose the Dark Side of the Solar System - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Corey S. Powell | August 26, 2020 | Nautilus
To try to explain this, astronomers invoke the idea of “quenching,” where something acts to suppress or shut down the formation of new stars across galaxies.The Universe Has Made Almost All the Stars It Will Ever Make - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Caleb Scharf | August 19, 2020 | Nautilus
Scientists also think the atmosphere has likely encouraged the formation of organic compounds on Titan, another boost to hopes for life.The 5 best places to explore in the solar system—besides Mars | Neel Patel | August 17, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
While the second-year quarterback’s elevated play was key to the unit’s success, the usage of its trio of tight ends and the stable of backfield mates for Jackson allowed the offense to truly flourish – especially out of heavy formations.The Baltimore Ravens Used Their Tight Ends Differently | Andres Waters | July 30, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Crunching all sorts of numbers about star formation rates and ages, results of planet searches and other astronomical studies yields estimates for each term in the CETI equation.Self-destructive civilizations may doom our search for alien intelligence | Tom Siegfried | July 6, 2020 | Science News
Twin buglers played “Taps” and three police helicopters flew overhead in the missing-man formation.
“Stay in formation,” a sergeant from the ceremonial unit said over a public address system to the cops along the street.
This led to the formation of a Christian militant group to counter the rebels, and all-out sectarian violence exploded.
They looked up into the blue sky as the helicopters flew over in a lost man formation.Choking Back Tears, Thousands of Cops Honor Fallen Officer Ramos | Michael Daly | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
For that reason, we will never see the formation of another solar system unfold before our eyes.
The significance of the different varieties is more readily understood if one considers their mode of formation.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Indications of asbestos are found at most points throughout the whole serpentine formation.Asbestos | Robert H. Jones
This island, like Number 1, which we visited in 1819, appears to be principally of quartzose formation.
For new taxes, however, it would doubtless be necessary to await the formation of a new ministry.The Eve of the Revolution | Carl Becker
The formation of a new ministry was not an unusual occurrence in the early years of King George the Third.The Eve of the Revolution | Carl Becker
British Dictionary definitions for formation
the act of giving or taking form, shape, or existence
something that is formed
the manner in which something is formed or arranged
a formal arrangement of a number of persons or things acting as a unit, such as a troop of soldiers, aircraft in flight, or a football team
(as modifier): formation dancing
the fundamental lithostratigraphic unit
a series of rocks with certain characteristics in common
ecology a community of plants, such as a tropical rainforest, extending over a very large area
- formational, 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
Scientific definitions for formation
A long, mappable body of rock that is recognizable by its physical characteristics and by its location within the rock record.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.