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 Though an occasional in-town celebrity was sometimes called upon to host the lighting of the lights, the seasonal event was markedly informal. Rick Kogan,, "The delights — large and small — of holiday lights," 27 Nov. 2019 British Ambassador Karen Pierce, the current Security Council president, told reporters there was no statement from the full 15-member council because the consultations were informal. Washington Post, "Germany, France, UK, condemn North Korean missile launches," 13 Nov. 2019 Many jobs are informal or temporary, with young people and women among those struggling the most to find quality, skilled work. Sheena Mckenzie, CNN, "A single grievance sent protesters to the streets, but wider discontent has kept them there," 24 Oct. 2019 And then the-- there's this informal, irregular channel. NBC News, "Transcript: Star Witness," 24 Oct. 2019 Nationwide, most people who got sick had used vaping products that contained THC, and products purchased through informal channels appear to be a significant source of the illness, according to the CDC. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Death of 18-year-old Colorado man could be state’s first related to vaping," 24 Oct. 2019 Much like his father, Emperor Naruhito is relatively informal when touring the country, petting dogs and chatting with schoolchildren. The Economist, "Japan’s emperor is a prisoner in his own palaces," 17 Oct. 2019 Choosing the caption winner is really kind is informal. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Readers contribute cleverness to Union-Tribune cartoon caption contest," 11 Oct. 2019 Like many of the guests, the conversation was informal in tone. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Broadcasting video games is raising millions for charities," 7 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for informal

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for informal


How to pronounce informal (audio)

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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Comments on informal

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