from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To change markedly the appearance or form of: "A thick, fibrous fog had transformed the trees into ghosts and the streetlights into soft, haloed moons” ( David Michael Kaplan).
  • transitive v. To change the nature, function, or condition of; convert. See Synonyms at convert.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To subject to a transformation.
  • transitive v. Electricity To subject to the action of a transformer.
  • transitive v. Genetics To subject (a cell) to transformation.
  • intransitive v. To undergo a transformation.
  • n. The result, especially a mathematical quantity or linguistic construction, of a transformation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to change greatly the appearance or form of
  • v. to change the nature, condition or function of
  • v. (mathematics) to subject to a transformation
  • v. (electricity) to subject to the action of a transformer
  • v. (genetics) to subject (a cell) to transformation
  • v. to undergo a transformation
  • n. the result of a transformation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be changed in form; to be metamorphosed.
  • transitive v. To change the form of; to change in shape or appearance; to metamorphose.
  • transitive v. To change into another substance; to transmute.
  • transitive v. To change in nature, disposition, heart, character, or the like; to convert.
  • transitive v. To change, as an algebraic expression or geometrical figure, into another from without altering its value.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To change the form of; metamorphose; change to something dissimilar.
  • Specifically, in alchemy, to change into another substance; transmute.
  • To change the nature, character, or disposition of.
  • In mathematics, to alter from one figure or expression to another differing in form but equal in quantity. See transformation, 4.
  • To change in appearance or character; undergo transformation; be metamorphosed: as, some insects transform under ground; the pupa transforms into the imago.
  • n. In mathematics, the figure or function or operator which results from performing the operation of transformation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. subject to a mathematical transformation
  • v. convert (one form of energy) to another
  • v. increase or decrease (an alternating current or voltage)
  • v. change or alter in form, appearance, or nature
  • v. change (a bacterial cell) into a genetically distinct cell by the introduction of DNA from another cell of the same or closely related species
  • v. change in outward structure or looks
  • v. change from one form or medium into another


Middle English transformen, from Old French transformer, from Latin trānsfōrmāre : trāns-, trans- + fōrma, form.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French transformer, from Latin trans ("across", preposition) + forma ("form"). (Wiktionary)



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