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 Chauvin's conviction renewed a focus in Congress to pass federal police reform legislation named for Floyd, though talks are informal. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Val Demings says officer in Ma'Khia Bryant shooting "responded as he was trained to do"," 26 Apr. 2021 After the services, the royal positions were more informal. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Royal reunion: Prince William and Harry leave Prince Philip's funeral shoulder to shoulder," 17 Apr. 2021 The issue is not simply appearance, which is definitely more informal with today’s work-from-home culture. Ellevate, Forbes, "Stand Out On Zoom By Thinking Hollywood: Lights, Camera, Action," 12 Apr. 2021 While Harsin was vetting Williams as a potential addition to his inaugural staff on the Plains, the early conversations between the two were informal. Tom Green |, al, "Cadillac Williams opens up about ‘nerve-racking’ experience during Auburn’s coaching change," 5 Apr. 2021 Workers in the informal sector do not receive any unemployment insurance or other benefits. Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexican migrants in the U.S. sent more money home in 2020 to keep families afloat," 10 Mar. 2021 Household incomes have been squeezed, with disruptions to the normal functioning of economic activity hitting the informal sector particularly hard. Tawanda Karombo, Quartz, "Senegal is experiencing Africa’s first post-Covid protests," 10 Mar. 2021 An estimated half of these batteries end up in the informal recycling sector, where they are broken apart and smelted, causing lead particles to leak into the environment. Fortune, "Lead poisoning affects 1 in 3 kids worldwide—but it’s not too late to act," 23 Oct. 2020 During the nationwide lockdown, more than 120 million jobs were lost, most of them in the country’s vast informal sector. Washington Post, "In India, engineers and MBAs are turning to manual labor to survive the economic crash," 23 Sep. 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.

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

Statistics for informal

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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