in·​for·​mal | \ (ˌ)in-ˈfȯr-məl How to pronounce informal (audio) \

Definition of informal

1 : marked by the absence of formality or ceremony an informal meeting
2 : characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary, casual, or familiar use informal clothes

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Other Words from informal

informality \ (ˌ)in-​(ˌ)fȯr-​ˈma-​lə-​tē How to pronounce informality (audio) , -​fər-​ \ noun
informally \ (ˌ)in-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​lē How to pronounce informally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of informal in a Sentence

We had an informal meeting over lunch. He has an informal manner that puts people at ease. He spoke to them in informal Spanish. The term is common in informal contexts. He took an informal poll among his coworkers.
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Recent Examples on the Web But the coronavirus lockdowns have only furthered America’s embrace of informal attire, retail executives say. ... Allison Prang, WSJ, "Apparel Brands Push More-Stylish Dressing at Home," 2 July 2020 With a balance of formal and informal living spaces, this traditional-style home is designed for entertaining and family gatherings. Dallas News, "Preston Center office highlights four North Texas homes," 28 June 2020 The way the insecurity of people working in the informal economy has helped fuel outbreaks can be seen across Latin America. Washington Post, "Latin America’s critical food markets fuel virus spread," 26 June 2020 President Martin Vizcarra announced a nationwide lockdown in March, but most Peruvians who work informal jobs that include housekeeping and selling goods on the streets continued working in order to get by. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Latin America is bearing the brunt of the coronavirus," 25 June 2020 But the idea never went beyond a handful of informal meetings., "Fannie Lou Hamer's declaration 'I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired' is still a rally cry for Black people in Milwaukee," 25 June 2020 That forces people to abandon their bank accounts and the formal economy in favor of the cheaper and easier-to-predict fees associated with informal services like payday loans and check-cashing. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "Why America won’t be going cashless anytime soon," 25 June 2020 Since 2017, his informal street teams of volunteers have given out over 5,000 bundles. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "A different kind of care package: Concertgoers ‘Blanket the Homeless’," 23 June 2020 Spain, which had no income-support system for the country’s many informal workers, is now introducing a minimum-income scheme. The Economist, "The week in charts America, race and the police," 5 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'informal.' 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 informal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for informal

Time Traveler

The first known use of informal was in the 15th century

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Statistics for informal

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for informal


How to pronounce informal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of informal

: having a friendly and relaxed quality
: suited for ordinary use when you are relaxing
of language : relaxed in tone : not suited for serious or official speech and writing


in·​for·​mal | \ in-ˈfȯr-məl How to pronounce informal (audio) \

Kids Definition of informal

1 : not requiring serious or formal behavior or dress an informal party
2 : suitable for ordinary or everyday use an informal dining area

Other Words from informal

informally adverb



Legal Definition of informal

: marked by the absence of required forms or procedures or by the relaxation of prescribed rules an informal hearing

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