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

Marcelo Bergman, a sociologist who runs the Latin America Violence Research Center in Buenos Aires, thinks the informal economy plays a role. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World," 20 Sep. 2018 However, the report also claims that Inter are in informal discussions with Malcom over a move., "Brazilian Winger's Representatives Hold Talks With Liverpool & Chelsea Over Potential Transfer," 2 June 2018 While property owners are entitled to appeal their assessments and have their cases heard by the Ada County Commission, McQuade said disputes can often be resolved through an informal discussion. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "Ada County's property-tax assessments are up sharply. Here's how much, and where," 31 May 2018 Moving away from cash payments reduces costs, cuts leakages through corruption, discourages the informal economy and increases the tax base. The Economist, "Paying respectsHow mobile money is spreading," 3 May 2018 Coffee and conversation provided a successful morning combination during Harwood Heights’ first Coffee with a Cop event, inviting residents and the village’s elected officials to join in an informal discussion on community issues. Gianna Annunzio,, "Harwood Heights' Coffee with a Cop offers 'a little more relaxed setting' for residents," 23 Apr. 2018 There are open, informal discussions, learning for the fun of it. Courant Community, "Community News For The Killingly Edition," 27 Mar. 2018 However, team representatives and agents have been known engage in informal discussions before March 12. Geoffrey C. Arnold,, "Denver Broncos to meet with QB Kirk Cousins agent: Report," 27 Feb. 2018 The Obama administration declined to formally reopen Open Skies talks, but held informal technical discussions. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "U.S., Qatar reach agreement in long-running dispute involving Qatar Airways," 30 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for informal

Last Updated

25 May 2019

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Time Traveler for informal

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

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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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on informal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for informal

Spanish Central: Translation of informal

Nglish: Translation of informal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of informal for Arabic Speakers

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).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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