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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The museum’s atmosphere and design philosophy reflect how many Mancunians, including Jews, cherish the city’s informal, chummy and accessible feel compared to the big metropolis of London. Cnaan Liphshiz,, 7 July 2021 Kwéyòl, as it's known in Dominica, is one of many Creole variants spoken on more than a dozen Caribbean islands — complex cultural creations that were long considered informal, inferior and broken languages spoken by uneducated people. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 Karl Wirsum, a Chicago artist who was a founder of the informal and humorously subversive artist group Hairy Who, and whose range of influences included everything from comic books to medieval painting, is dead at 81. Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2021 These types of scorecards can be informal and accessible for the entire workforce. Marta Wilson, Forbes, 18 June 2021 The other described it as not only informal, but also chiefly British. Bernadette Kinlaw, Arkansas Online, 14 June 2021 If any of this is to have lasting significance, informal and ad hoc groupings will not be enough. Thomas Wright, The Atlantic, 9 June 2021 An expanding industry built on informal and impermanent housing is a reflection of the precariousness that increasingly defines daily life for millions of Americans. New York Times, 20 May 2021 Friends of Yiddish will take place on Sunday, May 2 and June 13, at 11 a.m. Friends of Yiddish is an informal, mostly English, bilingual drop-in social group which meets to hear a guest speaker or discussion and maybe absorb a Yiddish word or two., 9 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of informal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About informal

Time Traveler for informal

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near informal




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for informal

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on informal

Nglish: Translation of informal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of informal for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!