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

Eventually, Draisen said, MAPC would like to see this become standard practice, with a formula that lays out exactly how much money a developer near transit would contribute, instead of one-off deals being cobbled together. Tim Logan, BostonGlobe.com, "Developers pressed to fund extra T service," 9 July 2019 Introducing our new Sooo Fire Collection 🔥 The collection includes a fiery 10-Pan Eyeshadow Palette, 3 Eyeliners and 3 Glosses with a brand new formula. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian West Is Unrecognizable in Her New KKW Beauty Campaign," 8 July 2019 There is not one set formula, but there are common themes that bring almost all classic movies together, explains TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Megan Marples And Delaney Strunk, CNN, "Settle in with these weekend reads," 5 July 2019 In the opinion, joined by the four other conservative justices, Roberts said there was no legal formula or mathematical rule for a judge to decide when an election map drawn by state legislators crosses a line to become unconstitutionally partisan. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Supreme Court with Roberts in charge: Conservative, but not always predictable," 29 June 2019 There’s not going to be a magic formula where these guys are going to flip a switch for us. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "UAA hockey coach’s first recruiting class includes 11 players, none of them from Alaska," 28 June 2019 The idea that a creature successful enough to reach reproductive maturity would want to mess with the genetic formula is also odd. Jon Kelvey, Smithsonian, "The Evolution of Sex Could Have Provided a Defense Against Cancer Cells," 11 June 2019 Plugging in unequal input and churning out equal output is merely a formula for reversed unfairness. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 To kick off the launch, Gucci rolled out a lipstick collection complete with 58 shades, which are divided into 3 different lines — each with a distinct lipstick formula. Teen Vogue, "6 Teen Vogue Editors Tried Gucci Beauty’s New Lipsticks And Fell In Love," 23 May 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

14 Jul 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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