informal

adjective

in·​for·​mal (ˌ)in-ˈfȯr-məl How to pronounce informal (audio)
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
informality noun
informally 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 Sociology Department Chair Steve Nava and Tom Izu, executive director emeritus of the California History Center, are set to collaborate on intergenerational interviews with formal and informal community leaders. Laura Ness, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 The average monthly net income for informal workers is about $125 — 40% lower than Indonesia’s average national wage. Rachel Wilson, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 Quinn died of cancer before the trial could start, and made an informal arrangement with his nephew, a lawyer named Trevor Burke, giving him a portion of his hypothetical share of the award. Jesse Barron, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 To cover the whole population with something approaching a ‘full wage,’ López Obrador's program would have to increase the Afore pension fund by 2.5 times to meet the median wage, and then double it again to cover informal workers. Mark Stevenson, Quartz, 6 Feb. 2024 Groups like the Maghribi Jewish Traders tried creating mechanisms of sharing reputations and informal community enforcement. TIME, 3 Feb. 2024 Jake investigates organized crime via an informal partnership with Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe), a policeman who doesn’t fight the yakuza so much as help preserve the equilibrium among their competing factions. Alison Herman, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 First with informal classes for friends, then friends-of-friends. Lina Abascal, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 But during the pandemic, the informal economy began to be seen as a way to achieve social distancing and combat unemployment. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'informal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near informal

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/informal. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

informal

adjective
in·​for·​mal (ˈ)in-ˈfȯr-məl How to pronounce informal (audio)
1
: not formal
an informal party
2
: suited for ordinary or everyday use
informal clothes
informality noun
informally adverb

Legal Definition

informal

adjective
in·​for·​mal
: 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

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