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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2017, ahead of her first business trip since giving birth to her son, entrepreneur Sarah Paiji Yoo was doing research on how to switch him to formula. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Hate Buying Cleaning Supplies? There’s a Pill for That," 20 May 2019 Look for one with a brush (like this) to make application easy, and a formula that includes enough of a moisturizer to hydrate your sensitive eye area. Mia Adorante, Town & Country, "5 Expert Tips for Younger Looking Eyes," 12 Mar. 2019 But if some of the lengthier styles below appeal to you, try a formula like Sally Hansen NailGrowth Miracle ($7, amazon.com) to work your way toward stronger, longer nails. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "The Easy Way to Figure Out Which Nail Shape Looks Best on You," 10 Jan. 2019 Hodgson, seeing the goofy and creative potential in this strange material, bought the rights to the formula from GE. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "A Serious Ode To Silly Putty," 27 Dec. 2018 Far from being a game-changer, though, the social aspect of Fallout 76 doesn’t really add much to the formula. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 But the position is compromising: No one can deny that sitting on someone’s lap, at least according to The Bachelor formula, is a version of love. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Bekah Martinez Refuses To Play By The Rules Of Bachelor Nation," 22 June 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about formula

Statistics for formula

Last Updated

2 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for formula

The first known use of formula was in 1618

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on formula

What made you want to look up formula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!