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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The convoy of 60 trucks, each carrying 13,210 gallons, went through an informal border crossing in Qusayr in Syria. Arkansas Online, 17 Sep. 2021 Brown participated in an agility drill early in practice Friday, without any apparent pain, but did not run at full speed during an informal receiving drill. Jonas Shaffer,, 17 Sep. 2021 State law allows U-M's board to meet privately in informal sessions without notice to the public or any minutes being published. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, 17 Sep. 2021 The convoy of 60 trucks, each carrying 50,000 liters (13,210 gallons), went through an informal border crossing in Qusayr in Syria. Fox News, 17 Sep. 2021 Our research proposes a seemingly simple solution to this problem: make the informal short list longer. Brian J. Lucas, Scientific American, 17 Sep. 2021 Another executive noted how informal chats with customers outside of formal measurement and survey techniques yielded ideas that gave rise to new offerings. Joe Mckendrick, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Instead of a presentation, this event was meant to be an informal conversation., 16 Sep. 2021 While comfort-first wardrobe staples aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, draping a sleek coat over an outfit, no matter how informal, can make the mundane feel special again. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 15 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for informal

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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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
: 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

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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