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

What remains constant is the fundamental human dynamic: a drive for power, profits and success on the part of those lucky enough to have stumbled across a winning formula and smart enough to recognize it. Frank Rose, WSJ, "‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ Review: The New Big Brother," 14 Jan. 2019 While scientists test extensively to create the best-performing antiperspirants, Torres recommends consumers to go through their own testing to determine which formula and format (spray or stick) works best for their body and lifestyle. Cassie Shortsleeve, Popular Mechanics, "How Scientists at Degree Men Test Antiperspirant," 20 Dec. 2018 The sparkly surprises continued with the reveal of three cream shadows, three pressed powders made with a new formula, and two new Ulta Glows. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Unveiled Her Kylie Cosmetics Holiday Collection on Instagram," 14 Nov. 2018 And the alt-country movement, which has co-opted the folk tradition, continued the grit and social criticism of the old days after the big-hatted mainstream moved into formula and political reaction. Scott Timberg, Vox, "How music has responded to a decade of economic inequality," 30 July 2018 If there’s a formula for winning a re-election campaign, toss it out. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Seen Deploying Off-the-Cuff Communications in Re-Election Drive," 24 Dec. 2018 More and more, this looks like the formula for the standard Indiana nonconference season. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "20-game Big Ten season adds wrinkle to nonconference scheduling for IU basketball," 24 May 2018 But the most important part of the formula — cliché or not — could be team chemistry. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "One reason for WSU’s success compared to ‘selfish’ 2017 Cougars? ‘We love each other, man’," 14 Nov. 2018 The new Paperwhite, like the other Kindles before it, is the latest refinement of a formula that Amazon has been iterating on for more than half a decade now. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: the new best-seller," 7 Nov. 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

10 Mar 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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More from Merriam-Webster on formula

Spanish Central: Translation of formula

Nglish: Translation of formula for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of formula for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about formula

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