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 Eventually, the humans formulate a plan that involves moving Kong out of his protective bubble to serve as a guide on a trip to the center of the Earth. Los Angeles Times, "How the ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ team approached those spectacular kaiju fights," 2 Apr. 2021 The opposition, which remains divided over Guaidó’s continued leadership, has worked with U.S. officials to try to formulate a new strategy for maintaining internal unity and pressure on Maduro. Washington Post, "Biden extends protective status to thousands of Venezuelan migrants," 8 Mar. 2021 What if, then, beverage companies were to formulate and apply a net-zero approach to the entirety of their production process? Jonquil Hackenberg, Forbes, "Here’s Why Carbon Net-Zero Is Not Enough To Make Sustainability A Reality," 12 Apr. 2021 Perhaps a quiet vacation or long relaxing weekend can give you the time to formulate successful plans. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 11, 2021: Libra, you’re jealous of a loved one; Pisces, create the life you dream of," 11 Apr. 2021 The trio worked with the Green County Small Business Development Center to formulate a business plan and began tanning in January 2020 in Bonde's barn. Barry Adams, Star Tribune, "Woman-operated Wisconsin tanning company is all natural," 3 Apr. 2021 Advocates hope that past issues will not prompt an overly cumbersome process for those who are less mobile or debilitated as state officials continue to formulate plans. Los Angeles Times, "California’s My Turn COVID-19 vaccination appointment system riddled with flaws, officials say," 4 Mar. 2021 In Evanston and Asheville, experts were called in to help formulate reparations plans. Skylar Mitchell, CNN, "City's upcoming vote underscores why the debate over reparations for slavery is no longer a fringe issue," 22 Mar. 2021 If confirmed, Lander will lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which helps formulate guidelines and practices across the federal government. Los Angeles Times, "Who are President Biden’s Cabinet members and nominees?," 8 Mar. 2021

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Formulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 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

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