formula

noun
for·​mu·​la | \ ˈfȯr-myə-lə How to pronounce formula (audio) \
plural formulas or formulae\ ˈfȯr-​myə-​ˌlē How to pronounce formulae (audio) , -​ˌlī \

Definition of formula

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a set form of words for use in a ceremony or ritual
b : a conventionalized statement intended to express some fundamental truth or principle especially as a basis for negotiation or action
2a(1) : recipe The product is made using a secret formula that the company refuses to reveal.
(2) : prescription
b : a milk mixture or substitute for feeding an infant
3a : a general fact, rule, or principle expressed in usually mathematical symbols
b : a symbolic expression of the chemical composition or constitution of a substance
c : a group of symbols (such as letters and numbers) associated to express facts or data (such as the number and kinds of teeth in the jaw) concisely
d : a combination of signs in a logical calculus
4 : a customary or set form or method allowing little room for originality All her books were written according to a familiar formula.

formula

adjective

Definition of formula (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being an open-wheel open-cockpit rear-engine racing car conforming to prescribed specifications as to size, weight, and engine displacement

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Other Words from formula

Noun

formulaic \ ˌfȯr-​myə-​ˈlā-​ik How to pronounce formulaic (audio) \ adjective
formulaically \ ˌfȯr-​myə-​ˈlā-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce formulaically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of formula in a Sentence

Noun

His investment strategy is based on a simple formula. This has proven to be a winning formula. The product is made using a secret formula that the company refuses to reveal. The formula for water is H2O. infants drinking formula instead of their mother's milk
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

President Trump criticized coverage of the controversy and said the US wants to promote access to formula. Rebecca Beitsch, The Christian Science Monitor, "All US states now allow breastfeeding in public," 13 July 2018 Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese balked at Slive’s plan to use the BCS formula to choose the four playoff teams, pushing for the implementation of a human element. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Did the LSU-Alabama Rematch Really Kill the BCS?," 10 July 2018 Trump’s various mouthpieces have resorted to exactly that formula, when asked difficult or obvious questions that assume a reality different from Trump’s. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show," 15 June 2018 Mah and her collaborators used a formula to identify 42 games throughout the 2016–17 season in which teams would be susceptible to fatigue. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "How Science Helps the Warriors Sleep Their Way to Success," 8 June 2018 As a Caviar courier, Avendano earned according to a formula that weighs demand, distance, and riders. Thomas Fox Parry, The Atlantic, "The Death of a Gig Worker," 1 June 2018 Among other things, the local law uses a formula to determine how many permits should be issued: one for every 1,700 in local population. Josh Baugh, San Antonio Express-News, "Council decides to give independent cabbies a chance," 31 May 2018 The 495 ‘Five’ are going to need to be syringe fed/bottle fed using KMR kitten formula for a couple of weeks! Saryn Chorney, PEOPLE.com, "'Steaming Hot' Cat Carrier on Side of Highway Packed with Kittens Found and Rescued by Good Samaritans," 31 May 2018 Jake Kuntzendorf and Zach Pawelek were the catalysts Wednesday as Aurora Christian and Harvest Christian used similar formulas to win Class 1A sectional semifinal games at Judson. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Collision course: Aurora Christian and Harvest Christian win in semis to set up sectional title game," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formula.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of formula

Noun

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for formula

Noun and Adjective

Latin, diminutive of forma form

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Statistics for formula

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for formula

The first known use of formula was in 1618

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More Definitions for formula

formula

noun

English Language Learners Definition of formula

: a plan or method for doing, making, or achieving something
: a list of the ingredients used for making something (such as a medicine or a drink)
mathematics : a general fact or rule expressed in letters and symbols

formula

noun
for·​mu·​la | \ ˈfȯr-myə-lə How to pronounce formula (audio) \

Kids Definition of formula

1 : a direction giving amounts of the substances for the preparation of something (as a medicine)
2 : an established form or method a formula for success
3 : a milk mixture or substitute for feeding a baby
4 : a general fact or rule expressed in symbols We learned a formula for finding the size of an angle.
5 : an expression in symbols giving the makeup of a substance The chemical formula for water is H2O.

formula

noun
for·​mu·​la | \ ˈfȯr-myə-lə How to pronounce formula (audio) \
plural formulas or formulae\ -​ˌlē How to pronounce formulae (audio) , -​ˌlī How to pronounce formulae (audio) \

Medical Definition of formula

1a : a recipe or prescription giving method and proportions of ingredients for the preparation of some material (as a medicine)
b : a milk mixture or substitute (as one containing soybean protein) for feeding an infant
2 : a symbolic expression showing the composition or constitution of a chemical substance and consisting of symbols for the elements present and subscripts to indicate the relative or total number of atoms present in a molecule the formula for ethyl alcohol is C2H5OH — see empirical formula, molecular formula, structural formula

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