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

While two Quack Pack members were up on the block, a plan formulated among the alliance to save the entire group, thanks to Ian already holding one Veto and another one being up for grabs in the next competition. Dalton Ross,, "Dan's funeral: An oral history of the greatest Big Brother moment ever," 29 Aug. 2019 He and his colleague Emmanuel Saez, also an economist at UC Berkeley, helped formulate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million to help pay for those proposals. Christopher Rugaber,, "Why the wealth gap has grown despite a record economic expansion," 2 July 2019 Radar imagery from satellites helped formulate the response to a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit island of Lombok in Indonesia in August 2018. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "Scientists are turning to space to better understand how to respond to earthquakes," 18 June 2019 Aside from the innovative first-to-market technologies, the products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, SLS/SLES, and phenoxyethanol. Samantha Sasso,, "This Under-$15 Skin-Care Brand Is Giving Back To The U.S. Military In A Big Way," 24 Aug. 2019 The Apple iPhone 7 was set to operate at full power and secured below a tub of clear liquid, specially formulated to simulate human tissue. Sam Roe,, "We tested popular cellphones for radiofrequency radiation. Now the FCC is investigating.," 21 Aug. 2019 Brock Wagner, the founder of Saint Arnold Brewing Co., formulated some of its first recipes at DeFalco's original Rice Village store in the mid-1980's, owner Scott Birdwell said. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "DeFalco’s home brew shop to close after 48 years," 12 Aug. 2019 When Barr inevitably pressed him on what, then, was his rationale, Mueller said his team was still formulating its reasoning. . Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "How Mueller’s Lawyers Spun the OLC Guidance on Indicting a Sitting President," 28 July 2019 AgriProtein, which intends to expand its reach beyond South Africa, formulates its proprietary mixes to conform to the rules in destination markets. The Economist, "Beetles and flies are becoming part of the agricultural food chain," 4 July 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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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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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 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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