[trans-fer-mey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for transformation on
  1. the act or process of transforming.
  2. the state of being transformed.
  3. change in form, appearance, nature, or character.
  4. Theater. a seemingly miraculous change in the appearance of scenery or actors in view of the audience.
  5. 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.
  6. Mathematics.
    1. the act, process, or result of transforming or mapping.
    2. function(def 4a).
  7. Linguistics.
    1. transformational rule.
    2. the process by which deep structures are converted into surface structures using transformational rules.
  8. Genetics. the transfer of genetic material from one cell to another resulting in a genetic change in the recipient cell.
  9. a wig or hairpiece for a woman.

Origin of transformation

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin trānsfōrmātiōn- (stem of trānsfōrmātiō) change of shape. See trans-, formation
Related formstrans·for·ma·tion·al, adjectivenon·trans·for·ma·tion, nounre·trans·for·ma·tion, nounself-trans·for·ma·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for transformational

transformative, cathartic, born-again

Examples from the Web for transformational

Contemporary Examples of transformational

Historical Examples of transformational

British Dictionary definitions for transformational


  1. a change or alteration, esp a radical one
  2. the act of transforming or the state of being transformed
  3. maths
    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
  4. 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-particleCompare transition (def. 5)
  5. linguistics another word for transformational rule
  6. an apparently miraculous change in the appearance of a stage set
  7. (in South Africa) a national strategy aimed at attaining national unity, promoting reconciliation through negotiated settlement and non-racism
Derived Formstransformational, 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

Word Origin and History for transformational

1857, from transformation + -al (1).



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

transformational in Medicine


  1. 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.

transformational 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.