Definition of conformal in US English:



  • (of a map projection or a mathematical mapping) preserving the correct angles between directions within small areas, though distorting distances.

    Also called orthomorphic
    • ‘He worked on geodesy but became interested in conformal map projections where he invented a quincuncial map projection using elliptic functions.’
    • ‘He is also known for applications of the kernel function to conformal mappings.’
    • ‘He also worked on conformal mappings and potential theory, and he was led to study boundary value problems for partial differential equations and the theory of various functionals connected with them.’
    • ‘He also obtained important results on conformal mappings showing that angles were preserved on the boundary almost everywhere.’
    • ‘His doctoral thesis is an important contribution to conformal mappings of multiply connected plane domains.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘conformable’): from late Latin conformalis, from con- ‘together’ + formalis ‘formal’. The current sense was coined in German.