Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[fawr-myuh-leyt] /ˈfɔr myəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), formulated, formulating.
to express in precise form; state definitely or systematically:
He finds it extremely difficult to formulate his new theory.
to devise or develop, as a method, system, etc.
to reduce to or express in a formula.
Origin of formulate
First recorded in 1855-60; formul(a) + -ate1
Related forms
[fawr-myuh-luh-buh l] /ˈfɔr myə lə bəl/ (Show IPA),
formulation, noun
formulator, noun
nonformulation, noun
preformulate, verb (used with object), preformulated, preformulating.
preformulation, noun
unformulated, adjective
well-formulated, adjective
1. articulate, frame, compose, define, specify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for formulate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I haven't had time to formulate my ideas yet," Hewson urged.

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
  • He did not formulate the law in clear, set terms and moralise about it.

    White Fang Jack London
  • Before he could formulate a plan of action, the manape pressed the fatal button.

    The Mind Master Arthur J. Burks
  • "Oh, it's too soon to formulate anything," he told her, with prepared readiness.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • It may be helpful to formulate the common or lay interpretation of thoroughness.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
British Dictionary definitions for formulate


verb (transitive)
to put into or express in systematic terms; express in or as if in a formula
to devise
Derived Forms
formulator, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for formulate

1860, "to express in a formula," from formula + -ate. Related: Formulated; formulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for formulate

Word Value for formulate

Scrabble Words With Friends