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 In the evening, during a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, several world leaders, including Macron, Johnson and Canada's Justin Trudeau, were caught on video having an informal chat. NBC News, "NATO summit braces for friction after bruising first day," 4 Dec. 2019 Ballard Construction has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings. William Thornton |, al, "Construction firm fined $34K+ for excavation hazards," 2 Dec. 2019 Various German Roman Catholic parishes stepped in — starting informal structures to help families through times of loss. J.d. Duggan, Twin Cities, "From pioneer roots to modern day, Catholic United sees steady growth," 1 Dec. 2019 In an informal survey this year, the city’s Department of the Environment found that two-thirds of customers at retail stores brought a reusable bag or used no bag. Dustin Gardiner,, "California banned plastic bags. So why do stores keep using them?," 1 Dec. 2019 This is an outtake from the Rose garden where we were given 3 minutes to take some informal pictures of the happy couple after the wedding reception. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Wedding Photographer Discusses Incredible "Outtake"," 28 Nov. 2019 This is an outtake from the Rose garden where we were given 3 minutes to take some informal pictures of the happy couple after the wedding reception. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Wedding Photographer Shared a Surprising Detail About Their Day," 28 Nov. 2019 Fujimorismo represents something deep in Peruvian society: popular capitalism, the informal economy and the idea that rules are to be manipulated rather than respected. The Economist, "Peru’s president opens Pandora’s box," 10 Oct. 2019 Many who have little money to migrate, or prefer to stay closer to home, are settling in border towns like San Antonio, where the informal economy of black market goods and street vending provide them with some work opportunities. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Venezuelan border town swells with internal migrants," 2 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

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Informal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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