for·mu·late | \ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlāt \
formulated; formulating

Definition of formulate 

transitive verb

1a : to reduce to or express in a formula formulate the area of a rectangle

b : to put into a systematized statement or expression formulate long-term goals

c : devise formulate a policy formulate a plan

2a : to develop a formula for the preparation of (something, such as a soap or plastic) a plastic specially formulated to resist high temperatures

b : to prepare according to a formula formulate the vaccine against malaria

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Other Words from formulate

formulator \ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlā-tər \ noun

Synonyms for formulate


cast, compose, craft, draft, draw up, frame, prepare

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Examples of formulate in a Sentence

a plastic specially formulated to resist high temperatures the doctor was trying to formulate a good way to tell her that she would need surgery

Recent Examples on the Web

The arrangement made sense when the current rules were formulated back in 2000. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "Streaming TV or Movie? Why It Matters to Amazon’s Profits," 8 July 2018 Skin and body-care brand Papa & Barkley also creates THC and CBD formulated balms, bath soaks, and tension-relief patches. Samantha Sasso,, "Could CBD Be The Answer To Summer's Worst Side Effect?," 30 June 2018 In 1935, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, a stockbroker and a surgeon, started A.A., and formulated 12 principles to guide alcoholics to sobriety. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 Plans for when the other pieces will go on display are still being formulated, museum spokeswoman Anne Mannix Brown said. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Painting by Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald among 23 BMA acquires after deaccession sale," 26 June 2018 In his typical fashion, reedist, composer, and bandleader Geof Bradfield deployed a veritable notebook of conceptual conceits when writing and formulating his new album Yes, and . . . Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Geof Bradfield takes inspiration from Chicago comedy culture and French composer Olivier Messiaen on his latest project," 21 June 2018 The concept is part of the Fair Information Practice Principles, a set of privacy guidelines first formulated in a 1973 federal report that now form the basis of many privacy regulations in the U.S. and abroad. John Rothchild, Scientific American, "New European Rules May Give US Internet Users True Privacy Choices for the First Time," 15 June 2018 The competition required students to research a case study, conduct actuarial analysis, formulate solutions, and present recommendations over an eight-week timeframe. Erika Rose, Post-Tribune, "IU Northwest actuarial science students reach finals in international competition," 7 June 2018 By this point, Golden State has seen most every possible variation of defensive coverage and formulated an effective set of counters. Rob Mahoney,, "Process of Elimination: Four Reasons Why the Cavaliers Don't Stand a Chance in the NBA Finals," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formulate.' 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 formulate

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for formulate

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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The first known use of formulate was in 1855

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English Language Learners Definition of formulate

: to create, invent, or produce (something) by careful thought and effort


for·mu·late | \ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlāt \
formulated; formulating

Kids Definition of formulate

: to create, invent, or produce by careful thought and effort formulate a medicine formulate an answer

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Comments on formulate

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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