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

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

Sounds great, but the treatment is so experimental that pigment isn't yet formulated in the United States. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "What Is Semi-Permanent BB Cream, and Why Are People Getting It Microneedled Into Their Faces?," 9 Nov. 2018 And countries like China and others are doing a lot around infrastructure of cities, and how cities are created and formulated. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Eyeing a 2020 run, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explains how he (or someone else) could beat Trump," 17 Oct. 2018 The rich soil allows for the world's best rose and jasmine flowers to bloom, which is why classic fragrance houses like Chanel and Dior formulate and manufacture their scents in Grasse. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Huda Beauty Perfume Is Coming—Here's What We Know," 25 July 2018 But Piper quickly joined the avant-garde of her time, leaving figuration behind for the conceptualism then being formulated by Sol LeWitt and other (mostly male) artists. Jillian Steinhauer, The New Republic, "Adrian Piper’s art plays with identity and confronts defensiveness.," 30 May 2018 The polarized lenses not only cut glare, they're also formulated to block damaging UVA and UVB rays. Sarah Klein,, "These Running Sunglasses Are the Only Ones I've Tried That Don't Slip or Bounce," 28 June 2018 As a first-team All-County selection last year and Marriotts Ridge’s lone returning defender entering this season, Clevenger held the responsibility of formulating another powerful unit while being tasked with guarding the opponent’s top attacker. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Glenelg senior Anna Callahan seizes girls lacrosse Player of the Year honors," 12 June 2018 At that two-day event, Baker said music-scene leaders from other cities touted the initial step of formulating a strategy. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "It’s time to talk strategy for Indianapolis music community," 6 May 2018 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

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

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for formulate

The first known use of formulate was in 1855

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More Definitions for formulate



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).


a nest or breeding place

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