Definition of formation in US English:



  • 1The action of forming or process of being formed.

    ‘the formation of the Great Rift Valley’
    • ‘The simultaneous occurrence of random aggregation and amyloid fibril formation has been observed before.’
    • ‘Value formation is an interactive process, and the media is an essential vehicle for that.’
    • ‘Serotonin is stored in platelets and its release stimulates thrombus formation.’
    • ‘The creative process of formation was more important than the production of pictures.’
    • ‘One way to induce lateral root formation is by the application of IAA.’
    • ‘Keep your limb elevated as much as possible to prevent blood clot formation.’
    • ‘It's an important ballast in the process of policy formation, even if can be annoying for the politicals.’
    • ‘During this time the molecular processes of memory formation which underlie addiction are accelerated.’
    • ‘They haven't been consulted by the Government during the process of policy formation.’
    • ‘Currently there is much interest in spiritual disciplines and the process of spiritual formation.’
    • ‘To make the best use of them, continuous and intensive research needs to be undertaken into the form of Malayalam alphabets, formation of the words and the construction of sentences.’
    • ‘Firstly, the process of government formation is going to be dominated by three factors.’
    • ‘He said the process of formation of committees for the function had been almost been completed.’
    • ‘Amyloid fibril formation generally is a result of alteration of the native conformation.’
    • ‘The driving force behind the aesthetics of modularity is a transformation in the geometry of class, the shift from a national to a global process of class formation.’
    • ‘Our data are consistent with these studies and give further evidence that bone formation is a complex process, which is not initiated or regulated by a single factor.’
    • ‘Amyloid fibril formation depends on a partial unfolding of the native protein.’
    • ‘Excessive alcohol intake inhibits bone formation, possibly by a direct toxic effect on osteoblasts.’
    • ‘Pore formation is promoted by an increased likelihood of transmembrane water defects in the presence of an external electric field.’
    • ‘As we found, positive potential on the side of compound addition facilitates pore formation.’
    emergence, coming into being, genesis, development, evolution, origination, shaping, generation
    establishment, setting up, start, getting going, initiation, institution, founding, foundation, inception, creation, inauguration, organization, building, construction, installation, planting
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  • 2A structure or arrangement of something.

    ‘a cloud formation’
    • ‘You should use either the box formation or the diamond formation.’
    • ‘They were arrayed in a circular formation, guarding something within.’
    • ‘I have seen them swimming in long lines and sometimes in giant circular formations.’
    • ‘Oh, yeah, there are also some weird cloud formations and a couple of people get sucked into the sky.’
    • ‘In big towns and urban-type rural centers, there should be several such formations.’
    • ‘The key is to be able to spot the formation of the patterns as they are developing.’
    • ‘Building on the tactics of skirmishers, open-order tactics possessed only loose tactical formations.’
    • ‘Transformation, however, is much more than just new equipment or even new formations.’
    • ‘These are crystal formations with structured spaces or pores in them.’
    • ‘A variety of techniques were used to assist them in discovering the new formations.’
    • ‘The granulomatous pattern showed a formation of multiple granulomata with various degrees of inflammatory cell infiltration.’
    configuration, arrangement, pattern, array, alignment, positioning, disposition, order, ordering, organization, design, marshalling, grouping, layout, format
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  • 3A formal arrangement of aircraft in flight or troops.

    ‘a battle formation’
    ‘the helicopters hovered overhead in formation’
    • ‘New formations and new uses of weapons developed in response to unconventional threats.’
    • ‘There is no force in the world that would have stopped our heavy formations.’
    • ‘Aircraft flying in formation normally maintain equal distances from one another.’
    • ‘The troops then marched in formation to the gate and the camp was handed over to a contingent of troops from Ghana.’
    • ‘Many differing formations and attack patterns are also available within one simple click.’
    • ‘The 12 aircraft turned east in formation and descended to 5,000 feet.’
    • ‘Ukrainians fought in a variety of military formations during the war.’
    • ‘Depending on the location, the tactical formation, and the method of action, ambushes might be what are called meeting, parallel, or circular.’
    • ‘For example, the circular formation used during World War II by carrier task forces was first developed during an interwar wargame.’
    • ‘The type of commands that can be issued vary from basic movement orders to the tactical formation of your squad.’
    • ‘Who is the right person in our tactical formations to execute Sun Tzu's treatises?’
    • ‘They would then wheel and turn back, still in formation like aircraft, fly back, make another curve and land on the terrace.’
    • ‘This gave them a significant maneuvering advantage when engaging enemy formations.’
    • ‘It is not enough to reorganize our units and formations with due regard for the new requirements.’
    • ‘The latter ferreted out fighter and weather opposition ahead of the huge bomber formations.’
    • ‘We took off on parallel runways and flew in formation throughout the flight.’
    • ‘The formations were understaffed even though the Soviet side had more tanks and planes.’
    • ‘One day we were in a position in the formation where it was logical for the copilot to fly the bomb run.’
    • ‘On screen, several modern aircraft were flying in formation.’
    • ‘Soldiers are the engine behind our capabilities and the centerpiece of our formations.’
  • 4Geology
    An assemblage of rocks or series of strata having some common characteristic.

    • ‘Pyroclastic rocks are preserved in nearly every limestone and sandstone formation of the Hungarian Palaeogene Basin.’
    • ‘The Liva Member includes parts of the formation composed of basic lavas and tuffs with only minor interbedded sediments.’
    • ‘The rock body appears to be a single stage formation without lithologic discontinuities.’
    • ‘Using analogous colors would have broken down the cohesive whole into smaller but related parts like strata in a rock formation.’
    • ‘Why, then, is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?’


Late Middle English: from Latin formatio(n-), from formare ‘to form’ (see form).