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 The rocket attacks from the Palestinian enclave were the first in nearly a month and came amid quiet, international efforts to bolster an informal truce between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group. Washington Post, "Israel intercepts rockets launched from Gaza Strip," 15 Jan. 2020 The pair have had an informal pact of sorts for the entire campaign, vowing not to attack each other, hoping not split up the progressives. James Pindell,, "The Democratic presidential candidates will debate again tonight. Here are four things to watch," 14 Jan. 2020 If your goal is simply to get a group of friends and family involved, Facebook event invitations and informal emails will probably be enough to rally the troops. Alisha Mcdarris, Popular Science, "Show your local park some love by planning a volunteer day," 13 Jan. 2020 According to the New York Times, Nader was present at a 2017 meeting in the Seychelles involving Blackwater founder and informal Trump adviser Erik Prince and a Russian associate of Vladimir Putin. Amber Ali, CBS News, "Mueller probe witness George Nader pleads guilty to child pornography and sex trafficking," 13 Jan. 2020 The list of needs at these informal camps grows every day. Author: Arelis R. Hernández, Cristina Corujo, Anchorage Daily News, "Aftershocks again rattle Puerto Rico as residents deal with disaster after disaster," 12 Jan. 2020 When severe drought emptied Cape Town’s reservoirs in 2017 and 2018, wealthy residents sidestepped restrictions by buying extra water from informal operators. Peter Schwartzstein, New York Times, "The Merchants of Thirst," 11 Jan. 2020 State health officials recommend: People avoid using THC-containing e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly from informal sources such as friends, family or in-person or online sellers. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "3rd Michigander dies from vaping-related lung injury," 10 Jan. 2020 Many protesters have instead sought informal care through an underground network of psychiatrists, physicians, and traditional Chinese medical practitioners (paywall). Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s political crisis is becoming a mental health crisis," 10 Jan. 2020

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 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

What made you want to look up informal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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