Definition of formula noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːmjələ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrmjələ//
    (pl. formulas, formulae
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːmjəliː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrmjəliː//
    Formulae is used especially in scientific language.
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  1. 1   [countable] (mathematics) a series of letters, numbers or symbols that represent a rule or law This formula is used to calculate the area of a circle.
  2. 2  [countable] (chemistry) letters and symbols that show the parts of a chemical compound, etc. CO is the formula for carbon monoxide. Wordfinderacid, catalyst, chemistry, compound, formula, molecule, pH, react, solution, valency
  3. 3  [countable] a particular method of doing or achieving something They're trying to work out a peace formula acceptable to both sides in the dispute. All the patients were interviewed according to a standard formula. formula for something/for doing something There's no magic formula for a perfect marriage.
  4. 4  [countable] a list of the things that something is made from, giving the amount of each substance to use the secret formula for the blending of the whisky
  5. 5(also formula milk) [uncountable, countable] (especially North American English) a type of liquid food for babies, given instead of breast milk
  6. 6[countable] a class of racing car, based on engine size, etc. Formula One™ racing
  7. 7[countable] a fixed form of words used in a particular situation legal formulae The minister keeps coming out with the same tired formulas.
  8. Word Origin early 17th cent. (in the sense ‘fixed form of words’): from Latin, diminutive of forma ‘shape, mould’.Extra examples Do you know the formula for finding the area of a circle? Each of his novels follows the same successful formula. No one has a magic formula for keeping youngsters away from crime. No one has yet come up with a successful peace formula. The government was forced to find a face-saving formula to cover its misjudgement. We think we might have hit on a winning formula. What is their formula for success? Why change a winning formula? The prime minister keeps coming out with the same tired formulas. What are the correct legal formulae for this kind of letter?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: formula