in·​for·​mal | \(ˌ)in-ˈfȯr-məl \

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, -​fər-​ \ noun
informally \(ˌ)in-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​lē \ 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

Low-key, informal hangs are always the start of something special. Marissa Miller, Teen Vogue, "How To Celebrate The Holidays Away From Home," 22 Nov. 2018 Last year, numerous Chinese companies were rumored to be interested in the automaker, and at least one, Volvo-parent Geely held informal talks with FCA, according to Bloomberg. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "How likely is a Fiat Chrysler/Hyundai merger?," 2 July 2018 European leaders met in Brussels on Sunday for an informal talk on migration and asylum ahead of a broader summit meeting this week. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Italy and Malta Block Another Rescue Ship Carrying Migrants," 24 June 2018 Who to meet Photographer Rania Matar will give a brief, informal talk about her work at The Light Factory 2:30-3:30 p.m. June 30. Born and raised in Lebanon, Matar moved to the United States in 1984. Melody Songer, charlotteobserver, "What to do and see in Charlotte for week of June 24-30," 21 June 2018 Courtois was also linked with Paris Saint-Germain and his father had informal talks with the club in February., "'Baffled' Thibaut Courtois Still Set for Chelsea Contract Talks Despite Replacement Rumours," 5 June 2018 On May 26th Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president, and Kim Jong Un, the North’s leader, added another surprise to a week already rich in them by meeting for informal talks on the northern side of the demilitarised zone between their two countries. The Economist, "The leaders of the two Koreas meet again," 27 May 2018 If a review finds the cases have merit, the EEOC would call on the fast-food giant to initially engage in informal settlement talks, reports Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "A bunch of McDonald's workers just filed complaints about sexual harassment. Again. | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 The company, led by now-chief executive officer, Matthew Maddox, has had informal talks about selling the unfinished Massachusetts casino to other operators, including MGM Resorts International. Neil Weinberg,, "How Wynn’s Boston Casino Is Rising on Land Tied to a Mobster," 11 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for informal

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for informal

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

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on informal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for informal

Spanish Central: Translation of informal

Nglish: Translation of informal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of informal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on informal

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