pro forma


pro for·​ma (ˌ)prō-ˈfȯr-mə How to pronounce pro forma (audio)
: made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality
: based on financial assumptions or projections: such as
: 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
: 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

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 an 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 Slimmer majority The second session of the 118th Congress actually began last week, but both chambers held only pro forma sessions and members will not be back in their Hill offices until this week. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 14 Jan. 2024 Significantly, House Ethics Chairman Michael Guest will introduce an expulsion resolution Friday during a pro forma session, according to a source. Will Steakin, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 If the script can sometimes feel a tad pro forma, the film still proves an authentically moving and involving crowd-pleaser. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Its budget of $10,000 a year came only from federal funds, so keeping the committee going seemed pro forma. Audrey Dutton, ProPublica, 3 Oct. 2023 Two months after the election, in the first—and thus far the last—instance of the Kremlin’s ending a war not because of defeat but under the pressure of public opinion, the 1996 Khasavyurt Accord granted Chechnya a de facto independence while pro forma inside Russia. WSJ, 11 Jan. 2023 The transaction values the combined company at a pro forma enterprise value of about $520 million at $10 per share. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 23 June 2023 Also, some of Trump's lawyers met Thursday morning with lawyers from Smith's special counsel team to discuss the case, but that's pro forma for someone who has received a target letter. Josh Meyer, USA TODAY, 28 July 2023 While ratification has been pro forma elsewhere in the country, opposition to disaffiliation has been organized and effective in the Arkansas Conference. Frank E. Lockwood, Arkansas Online, 13 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pro forma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, for form

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pro forma was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near pro forma

Cite this Entry

“Pro forma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Legal Definition

pro forma

pro for·​ma prō-ˈfȯr-mə How to pronounce pro forma (audio)
: made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality
: provided or made in advance to describe items or projections
a pro forma invoice

Latin, for the sake of form

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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