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  1. a brand of thermosetting plastic, usually used in transparent or printed sheets as a chemicalproof and heatproof covering for furniture, wall panels, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for formica

Historical Examples

  • They carry off the larv of Formica fusca and Formica cunicularia.

    The Industries of Animals

    Frdric Houssay

  • A nymph of Parcoblatta virginica was found in a nest of Formica sp.

  • They always attack the nests of the Ashy-black (Formica fusca) and the Miners.

    The Insect World

    Louis Figuier

  • The tactics of the Red Ants (Formica sanguinea) differ from those of the russet.

    The Insect World

    Louis Figuier

  • “I had a note yesterday from Mrs. Senator Conch,” said Mrs. Formica.

British Dictionary definitions for formica


  1. trademark any of various laminated plastic sheets, containing melamine, used esp for heat-resistant surfaces that can be easily cleaned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for formica



proprietary name (1922), originally manufactured by Formica Insulation Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. (founded 1913). According to the company, the material (originally marketed as an industrial insulator) was so called because it could be used for mica, i.e., in place of mica, a more expensive natural insulator. Primarily used in consumer goods since c.1945.



ant genus, 1865, from Latin formica "ant," dissimilated from PIE *morwi- "ant" (cf. Sanskrit vamrah "ant," Greek myrmex, Old Church Slavonic mraviji, Old Irish moirb, Old Norse maurr, Welsh myrion; and cf. pismire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper