Definition of configuration in English:



  • 1An arrangement of elements in a particular form, figure, or combination.

    ‘the broad configuration of the economy remains capitalist’
    ‘the arena is equipped to stage indoor sports with various configurations of seating’
    • ‘That way he could arrange them in different configurations to determine spacing.’
    • ‘It's like a brass flower designed in the same configuration or shape as the old 78 players.’
    • ‘The strong trend in the past few years has been to combine them into configurations that maximise the use you can get out of their features.’
    • ‘They then subjected various configurations to finite element analysis.’
    • ‘The seating configuration of the plane is two six-seater pockets, and I find myself seated back-to-back with Arnold.’
    • ‘The configuration is circular, with showcases arranged along two semicircular walls with an opening in the center.’
    • ‘The 767 will accommodate any combination of these configurations.’
    • ‘These discrete building blocks must have individually useful optical properties and easily integrate with other optical materials in a broad range of configurations.’
    • ‘There are many shapes, colours and configurations available.’
    • ‘These are citizens without power, with only their place within the class configuration to preserve their identity.’
    • ‘Some like a particular configuration of landscape elements, others don't.’
    • ‘Families, these days, as perhaps they always did, come in a huge array of shapes, sizes and configurations.’
    • ‘It's a long wheelbase job that not only provides a great deal more space in the back but also offers a choice of seating configurations, new trim and equipment options as well as a variety of communications and multi-media packages.’
    • ‘Thanks to versatile seating configurations and an extra 16 inches of wheelbase and overall length, this truck carries a large volume of gear in a variety of shapes and sizes.’
    • ‘Unlike the statue spot, where viewers had to struggle past the artisans or through trees to get a glimpse of the musicians, the new configurations offers crisp sight lines to the hands laying frantic beats.’
    • ‘Today, however, the lamps are available in a wide range of styles, configurations and shapes.’
    • ‘A friend of mine goes with the theory that there is no self, rather that he is a configuration of infinite diverse elements in a state of constant change.’
    • ‘The configuration presents the appearance of a logistic supply ship without the obvious display of force.’
    • ‘In contemporary Britain, the ‘working mother’ is the figure around which many bio-political configurations are organized.’
    • ‘As a result of the 1839 partition, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg got its present configuration.’
    arrangement, layout, geography, design, organization, order, ordering, array, presentation, grouping, sorting, positioning, disposition, marshalling, ranging, alignment
    shape, form, appearance, formation, structure, format
    contours, lines, outline, silhouette, profile
    cut, pattern, mould
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Chemistry The fixed three-dimensional relationship of the atoms in a molecule, defined by the bonds between them.
      Compare with conformation
      • ‘In this configuration the molecule is slightly more stable.’
      • ‘He demonstrated that the most stable configuration for some molecules was some intermediary structure between two other structures.’
      • ‘A nucleophile is any negative ion or neutral molecule whose electronic configuration consists of at least one unpaired electron pair.’
      • ‘The electron configurations of atoms are how the electrons are distributed among the principal energy levels, sublevels, and orbitals.’
      • ‘The hexagonal pattern at the center of the image is likely to be associated with the hexagonal packing configuration of lipid molecules.’
    2. 1.2Computing The arrangement or set-up of the hardware and software that make up a computer system.
      ‘the PC comes with a removable hard disk drive as part of the standard configuration’
      • ‘There's no need for special software, hardware or configuration on client devices.’
      • ‘Also, make sure the slowdown is due to the software, not user configuration or possibly hardware mishandling.’
      • ‘In principle, there may be several architectural solutions involving different network, software, and hardware configurations.’
      • ‘Performance will vary depending on your hardware and software configurations.’
      • ‘Software and hardware configurations keep most of the intruders at bay, but being able to recognise abnormal activity when it occurs seems to be the best method.’
    3. 1.3Psychology
      another term for gestalt
      • ‘Many studies were based on clinical interviews, and explored the precise configuration of symptoms presented by the survivor patients.’
      • ‘After a separation or divorce, social configurations change, making feelings of loss and loneliness more intense.’
      • ‘Psychologists who work with children, adolescents, couples and families often include various configurations of individuals in their work.’
      • ‘Participants were also asked about the percentage of their time engaged in different types of therapy configurations.’
      • ‘In a second configuration, the same aggressive children were paired with nonaggressive classmates who were not their buddies.’


Mid 16th century (denoting the relative position of celestial objects): from late Latin configuratio(n-), from Latin configurare shape after a pattern (see configure).