pro forma

adjective
pro for·​ma | \ (ˌ)prō-ˈfȯr-mə How to pronounce pro forma (audio) \

Definition of pro forma

1 : made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality
2 : based on financial assumptions or projections: such as
a : reflecting a transaction (such as a merger) or other development as if it had been or will be in effect for a past or future period a pro forma balance sheet
b : excluding usually extraordinary charges or expenses (as from acquisitions, restructuring, or the write-down of goodwill) often in order to present a more attractive financial report pro forma income

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Did You Know?

A lot of things are done for the sake of appearances. A teacher might get officially observed and evaluated every three years, even though everyone knows she's terrific and the whole thing is strictly pro forma. A critic might say that a orchestral conductor gave a pro forma performance, since his heart wasn't in it. A business owner might make a pro forma appearance at the funeral of a politician's mother, never having met her but maybe hoping for a favor from her son sometime in the future. In business, pro forma has some special meanings; a pro forma invoice, for example, will list all the items being sent but, unlike a true invoice, won't be an actual bill.

Examples of pro forma in a Sentence

The meeting was strictly pro forma, since the decision had already been made.
Recent Examples on the Web The Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon for a pro forma session, and the measure could be approved then if text is completed and all senators agree to approve it by unanimous consent. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Senate Democrats say they’re nearing deal to reload tapped-out small business rescue fund," 21 Apr. 2020 The Senate could pass the spending package this afternoon in a pro forma session. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Hundreds of House lawmakers will return to Capitol on Thursday to vote on up to three bills," 21 Apr. 2020 The Senate is holding a pro forma session Tuesday, and the legislation could be approved by unanimous consent. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Schumer says deal reached in Senate to boost small business loans," 21 Apr. 2020 The Senate is scheduled for a pro forma session Monday, but no vote has been set. The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump says Congress ready to finalize $450 billion rescue plan," 20 Apr. 2020 The Senate is holding a pro forma session on Monday and the House has one set for Tuesday, creating opportunities for action. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration, congressional leaders near deal on virus aid that includes major boost for small businesses," 19 Apr. 2020 While the Senate has a pro forma session scheduled for Monday, passage of any measure then is unlikely. Hailey Waller, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Joins Chorus Saying Agreement on New Virus Aid is Close," 18 Apr. 2020 Murkowski said afterward, tapping the gavel again, just 35 seconds after the pro forma session — which allowed the Senate to avoid officially taking a recess — began. Washington Post, "24 hours inside the lives upended by coronavirus in the nation’s capital," 2 Apr. 2020 The comparison was to be based on their actual usage to provide a pro forma, or shadow bill. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Regulator Justin Olson suggests independent investigation into APS," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pro forma.' 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 pro forma

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pro forma

Latin, for form

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Time Traveler for pro forma

Time Traveler

The first known use of pro forma was in 1823

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Statistics for pro forma

Last Updated

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pro forma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pro%20forma. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pro forma

pro forma

adjective
How to pronounce pro forma (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pro forma

: done or existing as something that is usual or required but that has little true meaning or importance

pro forma

adjective
pro for·​ma | \ prō-ˈfȯr-mə How to pronounce pro forma (audio) \

Legal Definition of pro forma

1 : made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality
2 : provided or made in advance to describe items or projections a pro forma invoice

History and Etymology for pro forma

Latin, for the sake of form

Comments on pro forma

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