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

Other Words from informal

informality \ (ˌ)in-​(ˌ)fȯr-​ˈma-​lə-​tē How to pronounce informal (audio) , -​fər-​ \ noun
informally \ (ˌ)in-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​lē How to pronounce informal (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.
Recent Examples on the Web But a government watchdog debunked the policy in 2018, saying there is no Justice Department rule or regulation to delay investigations, just an informal practice. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2022 Organizers urged participants to seek help from psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors or therapists for acute mental health issues, but also noted that informal gatherings can serve as therapy as well. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2022 The walkabout by the king and the prince is the latest in a series of public greetings as the new generation of royals attempts to show a more informal and open front. WSJ, 17 Sep. 2022 Pastrnak, who arrived in Boston the night before, held court at his locker stall at Warrior Ice Arena after skating with his teammates at an informal captains’ practice. Matt Porter,, 16 Sep. 2022 Low-rise, wood-and-leather seating in the lobby lounge is a comfortable spot for coffee, cocktails or informal meetings. Kathy A. Mcdonald, Variety, 16 Sep. 2022 El Paso officials say Venezuelan migrants often request transportation to New York to connect with family and informal support networks. Sun Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2022 There was even an informal queue of people waiting to join the official one. Mike Corder, Jill Lawless And Danica Kirka, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2022 Political mainstays and newcomers in local and some statewide races flocked to Lake Zurich to meet with voters in an informal, up-close-and-personal setting on Wednesday night. Gavin Good, Chicago Tribune, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of informal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for informal

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for informal


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

More from Merriam-Webster on informal

Nglish: Translation of informal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of informal for Arabic Speakers


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