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 formulate (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 Every day, the nutrition team members formulate, prepare and deliver hundreds of pounds of hay, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, grains and other items to the animals, said Brian Aucone, the zoo’s senior vice president for animal sciences. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Denver Zoo, resort bubble, nursing home shots: News from around our 50 states," 29 Dec. 2020 The user's client software will formulate the transaction and send it to a nearby node in the bitcoin network. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer," 26 Dec. 2020 Stefanski could formulate a near full-proof game plan where the Giants simply won’t have enough chances with the football to beat Cleveland. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns vs. the New York Giants preview: Previewing New York and how they match up," 15 Dec. 2020 The European Commission will formulate new measures to hit its climate-reduction goals by midyear. William Wilkes,, "Plug-In Cars Come Under Fire for Emitting More Than Advertised," 23 Nov. 2020 The proposal, initiated by Councilor Danielle Wong, has been sent to Bloomfield’s administration and finance committees for further discussion and cost analysis, that would include the hiring of a consultant to help formulate the plan. Steven Goode,, "Bloomfield considering equity program to address structural discrimination," 14 Nov. 2020 Despite their different lifestyles and skin concerns, the three women came together to help formulate two super-moisturizing products — Whipped Body Butter and Shimmering Body Oil — for $10 each. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Vaseline Brings Black Women to the Table With Its Illuminate Me Collection," 19 Dec. 2020 Foreign-policy experts say Mr. Blinken is unlikely to reveal many details of the early efforts to formulate the detailed policies of the new administration. William Mauldin, WSJ, "Biden’s Secretary of State Pick Antony Blinken to Face GOP Scrutiny," 19 Dec. 2020 Kilian Hennessy, the Cognac dynasty heir and founder of Kilian Paris, charges $35,000 to formulate a signature scent, which typically takes six months to develop. April Long, Town & Country, "Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Craft a Custom Perfume," 13 Dec. 2020

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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Formulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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