What does formation mean?

Definitions for formation
fɔrˈmeɪ ʃənfor·ma·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word formation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. formationnoun

    an arrangement of people or things acting as a unit

    "a defensive formation"; "a formation of planes"

  2. formation, shapingnoun

    the act of fabricating something in a particular shape

  3. constitution, establishment, formation, organization, organisationnoun

    the act of forming or establishing something

    "the constitution of a PTA group last year"; "it was the establishment of his reputation"; "he still remembers the organization of the club"

  4. geological formation, formationnoun

    (geology) the geological features of the earth

  5. formationnoun

    a particular spatial arrangement

  6. formationnoun

    natural process that causes something to form

    "the formation of gas in the intestine"; "the formation of crystals"; "the formation of pseudopods"

  7. formationnoun

    creation by mental activity

    "the formation of sentences"; "the formation of memories"


  1. formationnoun

    Something possessing structure or form.

  2. formationnoun

    The act of assembling a group or structure.

  3. formationnoun

    A rock or face of a mountain.

  4. formationnoun

    A grouping of military units or smaller formations under a command, such as a brigade, division, wing, etc.

  5. formationnoun

    An arrangement of moving troops, ships, or aircraft, such as a wedge, line abreast, or echelon. Often "in formation".

  6. formationnoun

    The process of influencing or guiding a person to a deeper understanding of a particular vocation.

  7. Etymology: From formation, from formatio, from formare; see form as verb.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Formationnoun

    Etymology: formation, French, from formo, Latin.

    The matter discharged forth of vulcano’s, and other spiracles, contributes to the formation of meteors. John Woodward, Nat. Hist.

    The solids are originally formed of a fluid, from a small point, as appears by the gradual formation of a fœtus. Arbuth.

    Complicated ideas, growing up under observation, give not the same confusion, as if they were all offered to the mind at once, without your observing the original and formation of them. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    The chorion, a thick membrane obscuring the formation, the dam doth tear asunder. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.


  1. Formation

    Formation is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her sixth studio album Lemonade (2016). It was written by Khalif Brown, Beyoncé, Asheton Hogan, and Mike Will Made It and produced by the latter three. It served as the album's lead single, released on February 6, 2016 through Parkwood Entertainment. The song received critical acclaim, and was ranked the greatest song of the 2010s by various publications. The song's accompanying music video, directed by Melina Matsoukas, premiered on the same day as the song itself through Beyoncé's official YouTube account. It received mixed response for its alleged anti-police stance, which the singer denied, in addition to controversy over documentary footage used in the video. However, some critics praised its depiction of African-Americans not frequently seen in mainstream media. In order to promote the song, Beyoncé performed it during her guest appearance at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show the day after its premiere. Throughout 2016, Beyoncé launched her The Formation World Tour which was named in reference to the song. "Formation" was Google's most searched song of 2016. "Formation" was nominated for the Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and won in the category Best Music Video, and was included on several year-end lists.


  1. formation

    Formation is a term that can be defined in several ways depending on the context: 1. In a broad sense, formation refers to the act of shaping or developing something or someone, often in a particular arrangement or pattern. This could include the formation of characteristics, ideas, or physical entities. 2. In geology, a formation denotes a body of rock with distinctive properties, particularly a group of rocks in the same area that share similar characteristics. 3. In the military, it refers to the arrangement or deployment of moving troops, ships, or aircrafts. 4. In team sports, a formation describes the arrangement of players on the field. 5. In a technical aspect, it could be referring to the process or method of creating a compound or complex structure such as crystalline formation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Formationnoun

    the act of giving form or shape to anything; a forming; a shaping

  2. Formationnoun

    the manner in which a thing is formed; structure; construction; conformation; form; as, the peculiar formation of the heart

  3. Formationnoun

    a substance formed or deposited

  4. Formationnoun

    mineral deposits and rock masses designated with reference to their origin; as, the siliceous formation about geysers; alluvial formations; marine formations

  5. Formationnoun

    a group of beds of the same age or period; as, the Eocene formation

  6. Formationnoun

    the arrangement of a body of troops, as in a square, column, etc

  7. Etymology: [L. formatio: cf. F. formation.]


  1. Formation

    A formation in American football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. formation

    1. An ordered arrangement of troops and/or vehicles for a specific purpose. 2. An ordered arrangement of two or more ships, units, or aircraft proceeding together under a commander.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. formation

    The drawing up or arrangement of troops, or small-arm men, in certain orders prescribed as the basis of manœuvres in general. Also, the particulars of a ship's build.

Editors Contribution

  1. formation

    The act and process of to create or form.

    The formation of the unity government is agreed and we are very grateful.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 26, 2020  

  2. formation

    To create or form a structure or design.

    They were excellent at creating formation between the team of gymnasts and water polo teams.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 12, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. formation

    Song lyrics by formation -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by formation on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'formation' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2497

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'formation' in Nouns Frequency: #1033

How to pronounce formation?

How to say formation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of formation in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of formation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of formation in a Sentence

  1. Alyssa Rhoden:

    Evaluating Mimas' status as an ocean moon would benchmark models of its formation and evolution, this would help us better understand Saturn's rings and mid-sized moons as well as the prevalence of potentially habitable ocean moons, particularly at Uranus. Mimas is a compelling target for continued investigation.

  2. David Berkowitz Chicago:

    As in zoology, monsters exist in art. It is the pervert of the formation of words, lines, colors, and sounds.

  3. Anthony Boccaletti:

    We should be able to see directly and more precisely how the dynamics of the gas contributes to the formation of planets.

  4. Michael Fallon:

    I ... am extremely concerned about the proliferation of Daesh (IS) along the Libyan coastline, which is why we have been urgently assisting the formation of a new Libyan government.

  5. Michael Grudi?:

    When we observe stars forming in any given region, all we see are star formation sites frozen in time, stars also form in clouds of dust, so they are mostly hidden.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for formation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تشكيلArabic
  • строй, формиране, формация, образуванеBulgarian
  • formigoEsperanto
  • koulutus, muodostuma, muodostus, muodostaminen, muodostelmaFinnish
  • izglītībaLatvian
  • formazzjoniMaltese
  • rotsformatie, vorming, formatieDutch
  • formasjonNorwegian
  • formaçãoPortuguese
  • обучение, структура, строй, конструкция, создание, формирование, образование, формацияRussian
  • ఏర్పాటు, నిర్మాణంTelugu
  • формуванняUkrainian
  • قیامUrdu

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"formation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/formation>.

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    applied to a fish depicted horizontally
    • A. bonzer
    • B. lank
    • C. repugnant
    • D. naiant

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