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

While new battle royale games have iterated on the Fortnite formula, the game continues to be a force in multiplayer online gaming. Xavier Harding, Fortune, "The Fortnite World Cup Finals May Be the Biggest Thing in Sports This Weekend. Here’s How to Watch," 26 July 2019 Virtually every modern bang bang vendor has a unique twist on the formula, yet the ingredients and overall effect remain. Howie Southworth, Washington Post, "This Chinese street-food sauce will give your next cookout a real bang bang," 23 July 2019 The turnaround was all the more remarkable because Daunt essentially convinced Waterstones to think locally—a reversal of the usual formula for success in big retail stores. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "Barnes & Noble’s fate rests in the hands of a British indie bookstore owner," 21 July 2019 The Gophers lead the West with a total of 78 percent, which is based on formulas that take in a wide range of stats. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Six Gophers football talking points going into Big Ten media days," 17 July 2019 Madi’s daily oral intake of food doesn’t provide sufficient nutrition, so Terri sets up a bag of formula on an IV pole to sustain Madi overnight. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Daughter of UTSA basketball assistant coach an inspiration despite disability," 14 July 2019 Also, some lenders use older versions of the FICO formula that have a shorter rate-shopping window — 14 days instead of 45. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive.com, "Liz Weston: Shop for refinance rates with no credit score dip for multiple inquires," 14 July 2019 The unique leave-on formula absorbs quickly, relying on exfoliating salicylic acid to polish away dead skin cells, clearing the way for radiant skin with visibly diminished pores and fine lines. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Paula’s Choice Best-Selling Skin-Care Product Is Buy One, Get One During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale," 12 July 2019 The allotments are based on a formula that assigns the most seats to the states with the largest number of people and the fewest seats to those with the least number of people — with each state getting at least one representative in the House. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Trump folds in latest round of perennial American battle: Citizenship and the census," 12 July 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

11 Aug 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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