for·​mu·​late | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlāt How to pronounce formulate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce formulator (audio) \ 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 Meanwhile, House Republicans continue to formulate a more robust defense of Mr. Trump. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Republicans release strategy memo outlining response to the impeachment inquiry," 12 Nov. 2019 Participants will work in pairs to formulate a single-origin or blended dark chocolate, and will leave with a bag of nibs and about a pound of finished, untempered chocolate for snacking or baking. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Learn about bean-to-bar chocolate making in classes at Tabal in Wauwatosa," 26 Aug. 2019 Fischer said the Alaska Constitution gives the regents the authority to formulate policy and appoint the university system president, and that independence was intentional. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "With significant decisions looming for University of Alaska leaders, questions remain about state funding," 30 July 2019 Shana Griffin will share the secrets to a perfectly balanced drink and how to formulate smoothies and hydrating elixir beverages for maximum taste and nutrition., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 6 July 2019 The Board of Education accepted the donations last month and officials are formulating a plan for presenting the essay contest to students, spokesman Jim Szczepaniak said. Phil Rockrohr,, "130 copies of book that tracks Niles West’s 1979 girls basketball state title team donated to District 219: ‘You need to read this’," 5 Nov. 2019 The Yankees win also left both managers scrambling to formulate a pitching plan for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Battle of the bullpens: Astros, Yankees turning to relievers for Game 6 of the ALCS," 19 Oct. 2019 The federal judge overseeing the police-reform case has ordered the city to work with the CPC to formulate the new police-accountability plan. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Lawyer for citizen panel on police reforms accused Seattle Mayor Durkan’s office of ‘potential interference,’ letter shows," 21 Sep. 2019 Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has experience formulating a plan to control Newton. Los Angeles Times, "Rams vs. Panthers: How the teams match up," 8 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for formulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of formulate was in 1855

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Statistics for formulate

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Formulate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for formulate


How to pronounce formulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of formulate

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


for·​mu·​late | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌlāt How to pronounce formulate (audio) \
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).


very cautious or careful

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