1

# formula

noun for·mu·la \ ˈfȯr-myə-lə \
Updated on: 14 Jan 2018

## Definition of formula

plural formulas or formulae\ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlē, -ˌlī\
1 a : 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
2 a (1) : recipe
• The product is made using a secret formula that the company refuses to reveal.
(2)
b : a milk mixture or substitute for feeding an infant
3 a : 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.

## Examples of formula in a Sentence

1. His investment strategy is based on a simple formula.

2. This has proven to be a winning formula.

3. The product is made using a secret formula that the company refuses to reveal.

4. The formula for water is H2O.

5. infants drinking formula instead of their mother's milk

## Recent Examples of formula from the Web

• The Emerging Artists chart uses the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures activity across multiple Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and the Social 50.
• After all, using that formula, Jacksonville clinched its first playoff berth since 2007.
• Until this month, Virginia and Maryland jurisdictions have supported using an existing formula under which the District pays 35.7 percent of capital costs, Maryland pays 33.4 percent and Virginia pays 30.9 percent.
• To calculate a final score, officials use something called the Gundersen method—a formula named for a Norweigen dude named Gunder Gundersen.
• Source: Louisiana Sportsline, which uses LHSAA formula.
• California regulations use a formula for allocating some money each year from utility customers’ bills to undergrounding projects in cities that want to bury their power lines.
• Pretty much all of those games followed the same formula.
• The usual formula for tax reform is to trade fewer deductions and loopholes, which often distort economic activity and benefit special interests, for lower rates.

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.

## Origin and Etymology of formula

Latin, diminutive of forma form

2

## Definition of formula

: 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

noun

## Definition of formula for English Language Learners

• : 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 \

## Definition of formula for Students

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 \

## medical Definition of formula

plural formulas or formulae\-ˌlē, -ˌlī\
1 a : 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

## Seen and Heard

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