Definition of conformation in English:



  • 1The shape or structure of something, especially an animal.

    ‘the judges run their hands over the dog's body and legs, checking its conformation’
    mass noun ‘we've been looking for stock with good overall conformation’
    • ‘It also improves the carcase conformation and composition, while he also finds the lambs are much cleaner due to the lower worm burden.’
    • ‘The judges then walked down the row checking the conformation of the horses and getting a closer look at each one.’
    • ‘This is because we want to start with the x-ray structure conformation.’
    • ‘Following this event it takes some time for the channel conformation to relax back to the original structure or conformation.’
    • ‘The animal's conformation can be a factor in how well your pack load or horse saddlebags ride.’
    • ‘The best approach for correcting a gait fault is to examine the animal's conformation and foot-flight pattern.’
    • ‘At an all-breed dog show, the focus lies in the dog's conformation, or overall appearance and structure.’
    construction, form, formation, shape, composition, fabric, anatomy, make-up, constitution
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Chemistry Any of the spatial arrangements which the atoms in a molecule may adopt and freely convert between, especially by rotation about individual single bonds.
      ‘a change of DNA conformation induced by binding of RNA polymerase’
      Compare with configuration
      • ‘We then estimate the free energies of all dimer conformations in all-atom molecular mechanics simulations with explicit water.’
      • ‘Molecular mechanics and dynamics use an empirical energy function known as a force field to model the conformation of a molecule.’
      • ‘Then, we fix the adsorbed DNA molecules in their conformations thanks to uranyl acetate and we dry the sample using filter paper.’
      • ‘Amino acid side chains are known to adopt discrete conformations depending on the local protein environment.’
      • ‘The conformation of the DNA molecule in solution is fluctuating constantly due to thermal perturbations.’


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘conforming, adaptation’): from Latin conformatio(n-), from conformare ‘to shape, fashion’ (see conform).