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Pronunciation: trans'for-ma'shun


  1. A change of one tissue into another, as cartilage into bone.
  2. In metals, a change in phase and physical properties in the solid state caused by heat treatment.
  3. In microbial genetics, transfer of genetic information between bacteria by means of “naked” intracellular DNA fragments derived from bacterial donor cells and incorporated into a competent recipient cell.

Synonym(s): metamorphosis

[L. trans-formo, pp. -atus, to transform]

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.