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

So far, according to informal surveys done by the state, fewer than 50 communities in Michigan have adopted ordinances that will allow medical pot businesses to operate. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan sees few medical marijuana applications so far, only 20 completed," 19 Jan. 2018 Brooks said that all along, discussions were informal. Les Bowen,, "Did Eagles let plan for White House visit drift along, onto the rocks?," 6 June 2018 Eventually, Bieber’s pastor Carl Lentz pushed for the singer to move into his home in New Jersey in 2014 for an informal detox. Korin Miller, SELF, "Justin Bieber on Recovering From Xanax Abuse: 'It Got Pretty Dark'," 7 Feb. 2019 In-person early voting campaigns often target groups that vote together — churches, unions, informal political groups. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The surge in early voting, explained," 3 Nov. 2018 Here to discuss, Reverend Johnnie Moore, spokesperson for the president's informal evangelical advisory group. Fox News, "Trump signs religious liberty executive order," 5 May 2018 Five women, all members of an informal group of experienced golfers called Sisters in the Fairway, gathered at the Grandview Golf Club in York County to enjoy a day on the links. Jenice Armstrong,, "Golfers got the 'Starbucks' treatment at York golf course | Jenice Armstrong," 29 Apr. 2018 Hikel is part of an informal group of 25 short-term rental operators and other stakeholders located mainly in the the 45202 area code, which includes the Over-the-Rhine, Downtown and Mount Adams neighborhoods. Randy Tucker,, "Your reservation has changed: Cincinnati plans to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals," 27 Mar. 2018 Again, from the Register: Democratic legislators recently asked if the public, including lawmakers or their representatives, could attend the informal group’s meetings. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Desperation Is Settling in for Pennsylvania Republicans," 22 Feb. 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

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for informal

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

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More Definitions for informal



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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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

What made you want to look up informal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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