Definition of conformation in English:


See synonyms for conformation on


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

    ‘the judges run their hands over the dog's body and legs, checking its conformation’
    • ‘Following this event it takes some time for the channel conformation to relax back to the original structure or 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.’
    • ‘The best approach for correcting a gait fault is to examine the animal's conformation and foot-flight pattern.’
    • ‘The animal's conformation can be a factor in how well your pack load or horse saddlebags ride.’
    • ‘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
    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.
      Compare with configuration
      ‘a change of DNA conformation induced by binding of RNA polymerase’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We then estimate the free energies of all dimer conformations in all-atom molecular mechanics simulations with explicit water.’
      • ‘The conformation of the DNA molecule in solution is fluctuating constantly due to thermal perturbations.’
      • ‘Molecular mechanics and dynamics use an empirical energy function known as a force field to model the conformation of a molecule.’



/ˌkänfôrˈmāSHən/ /ˌkɑnfɔrˈmeɪʃən/ /ˌkänfərˈmāSHən/ /ˌkɑnfərˈmeɪʃən/


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