American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or process of forming something or of taking form.
- n. Something formed: beautiful cloud formations.
- n. The manner or style in which something is formed; structure: the distinctive formation of the human eye.
- n. A specified arrangement or deployment, as of troops.
- n. Geology The primary unit of lithostratigraphy, consisting of a succession of strata useful for mapping or description.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act or process of forming or making; the operation of composing by the union of materials or elements, or of shaping and giving form; a putting or coming into form: as, the formation of a state or constitution; the formation of ideas or of character.
- n. Disposition of parts or elements; formal structure or arrangement; conformation; configuration: as, the peculiar formation of the heart; a formation of troops in columns, squares, etc.
- n. That which is formed; anything considered as to its form, structure, or arrangement: as, the formation consisted of a mass of incongruous materials. Specifically
- n. In geology, properly, a group or assemblage of rocks, whether stratified or unstratified, having a similar origin or some common physical character. Some geologists use the word formation as the equivalent of system, or as designating a group of strata having the same geological age. See
- n. In the classification of rock-masses as adopted by the United States Geological Survey for cartographic purposes, the cartographic unit, or usually the ultimate rock body separately named and mapped.
- n. In œcol., a plant society or association. See the extract and plant formation.
- n. Something possessing structure or form.
- n. The act of assembling a group or structure.
- n. geology A rock or face of a mountain.
- n. military A grouping of military units or smaller formations under a command, such as a brigade, division, wing, etc.
- n. military An arrangement of moving troops, ships, or aircraft, such as a wedge, line abreast, or echelon. Often "in formation".
- n. The process of influencing or guiding a person to a deeper understanding of a particular vocation.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of giving form or shape to anything; a forming; a shaping.
- n. The manner in which a thing is formed; structure; construction; conformation; form.
- n. A substance formed or deposited.
- n. Mineral deposits and rock masses designated with reference to their origin
- n. A group of beds of the same age or period.
- n. (Mil.) The arrangement of a body of troops, as in a square, column, etc.
- n. a particular spatial arrangement
- n. an arrangement of people or things acting as a unit
- n. creation by mental activity
- n. the act of forming or establishing something
- n. natural process that causes something to form
- n. (geology) the geological features of the earth
- n. the act of fabricating something in a particular shape
- From French formation, from Latin formatio, from formare ("to form"); see form as verb. (Wiktionary)
“Another way of attacking two-seater machines that we use in formation is for three men to go out to try to get at a machine.”
“Daniel: "Mineral crystals and their formation is a self-assembled process that is dependent on physical and chemical structural information.”
“Mineral crystals and their formation is a self-assembled process that is dependent on physical and chemical structural information.”
““It all went into slow motion, and I felt like the missile and I were kind of flying in formation for a while,” he recalls.”
“If Obama, Axelrod and Plouffe can do the job of getting this message to stick (by getting their soldiers in formation and marching with it through the weekend talk circuit and not screwing it up) it just might have a chance to do some damage to the ever stalling right.”
“Mr. Pez, is there anything we can do to help? pilotshark has the contact in formation for a very good program.”
“There, I took off the coat and stepped around a corner to behold rows upon rows of Starfleet cadets in formation, uniforms perfect, expertly coifed.”
“The big deal about natural gas trapped in the Marcellus formation is that it has to be fracked out.”
“If affixation means forming a word by adding an affix (e.g. frosty from frost, refusal from refuse, instrumentation from instrument), then back-formation is essentially this process in reverse: it adapts an existing word by removing its affix, usually a suffix (e.g. sulk from sulky, proliferate from proliferation, back-form from back-formation).”
“The mission, a collaboration between Nasa and the European Space Agency, will use three spacecraft flying in formation while orbiting the sun, with each housing floating cubes of gold platinum.”
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