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

As Alex Kaufman at HuffPost reports, a DNC committee may vote in August on two resolutions: one to hold a formal climate debate, and one to arrange a more informal forum. David Roberts, Vox, "We might get a climate debate after all. Here are 10 questions to ask candidates.," 3 July 2019 During the final minutes of the semifinal Copa America match between Brazil and Argentina, which Brazil won 2-0, an informal watch party coalesced at the bar of Oakland’s 25th Street Taproom. Justin Phillips,, "The Damel brings the flavors of Brazil, Senegal and Argentina to Uptown Oakland," 3 July 2019 Collective member Celine Krimston said the idea began as an informal meeting of several artists looking to share space. San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Mesa artists creating mugs to help raise funds for migrant shelter," 2 July 2019 Not long after taking over as president of ELM in 2017, Elizabeth Turnbull Henry reached out to key business groups and started informal monthly meetings. Jon Chesto,, "It’s true: Environmental and business groups are on the same page," 21 June 2019 By helping more women tap into the network effect of bringing people together as a way to increase opportunity and diversity, informal meetings and shared spaces beget change, and access begets advancement. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Can coworking companies sell inclusive communities?," 21 June 2019 Fedorchak was referring to an informal meeting with company officials held last December to discuss the 49,500 barrel figure. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "North Dakota regulators discuss refinery near national park," 17 Sep. 2018 In the past, Mr. Trump’s informal meetings with Mr. Putin appear to have played down points of friction, particularly over the topic of Russia’s election meddling, which Mr. Putin has vehemently denied. New York Times, "Trump and Putin Will Meet One-on-One in Finland, Officials Say," 5 July 2018 On June 24th the chancellor will attend an informal meeting of countries particularly affected by migration, ahead of an EU summit on June 28th. The Economist, "The politics of migration in Germany," 21 June 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

6 Jul 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).


characterized by aphorism

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