What does formation mean?

Definitions for formation
fɔrˈmeɪ ʃənfor·ma·tion

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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. Xiaosong Gu:

    The findings provide a robust genetic basis of adhesive setae formation.

  2. The SEC:

    To grant a stay now would thwart Congress’s goal of increasing capital formation opportunities.

  3. Diarmuid Martin:

    Many will see the results of Friday's referendum as an indication that the Catholic Church in Ireland is regarded today by many with indifference and as having a marginal role in the formation of Irish culture.

  4. Assistant Attorney General Christina Grossi:

    Mr. Flood participated in the formation of the very procedures the agencies used to winnow down the millions of documents and identify those that are responsive to the subpoenas.

  5. Sanita Belgrave:

    If dominoes lined up in a formation metaphorically represents how stress works, what are you doing to ensure your last domino never falls?

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, 2023. Web. 8 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/formation>.

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    like a pulp or overripe; not having stiffness
    • A. reassuring
    • B. squashy
    • C. dangerous
    • D. urban

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