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

The power is in its formula: The hydrating serum contains fruit acids, including lactic and glycolic, to gently slough off dead skin cells, which helps with both dry patches and acne. Glamour, "Herbivore’s Prism Glow Potion Gives You Radiant Skin Like None Other," 29 Mar. 2019 Her formulas incorporate the latest cosmetic technologies and are crafted with precision and care. Teen Vogue, "Pat McGrath Lab’s Releases 17 New Bold Eyeshadows," 28 Mar. 2019 Here's your formula: Square footage x desired depth / 324 = cubic yards needed. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How Much Mulch Do I Need? Here's the Easiest Way to Find Out," 6 Feb. 2019 The brand claims it’s waterproof and lasts 24 hours, and has an-easy glide formula and tip. Glamour, "Too Faced's New Better Than Sex Eyeliner Lives Up to the Name," 3 Apr. 2019 The formula also contains Cerium, an element that protects from blue light damage. Glamour, "This SPF Moisturizer Is Perfect If You Hate Wearing Sunscreen," 15 Mar. 2019 Our top tip: Apply right after your skincare regimen so the formula glides on more easily. Mia Adorante, Town & Country, "5 Expert Tips for Younger Looking Eyes," 12 Mar. 2019 Despite its heavy-lifting capabilities, the formula feels light and blends into my skin in a way that looks completely natural. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "13 Products That Make It Look Like I Got 8 Hours of Sleep When I Simply Did Not," 5 Mar. 2019 The self-priming formula couldn't be easier to use: paint two coats on top of existing paint, drywall or masonry, and let dry. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Textured Wall Finishes," 7 Feb. 2019

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

21 Apr 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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