noun, plural for·mu·las, for·mu·lae [fawr-myuh-lee] /ˈfɔr myəˌli/.
- a rule or principle, frequently expressed in algebraic symbols.
- such a symbolic expression.
Origin of formula
Related Words for formulaecode, creed, canon, credo, precept, rubric, custom, way, theorem, rite, method, blueprint, direction, description, form, maxim, prescription, equation, ritual, principle
Examples from the Web for formulae
Historical Examples of formulae
Formulae which place the salts in separate solutions are a mistake.Bromide Printing and Enlarging
John A. Tennant
Its spirit if not its formulae is abundantly present in our modern world.First and Last Things
H. G. Wells
He does not; but, none the less, the three formulae for the three situations are there.Essays in Experimental Logic
There is a curious reciprocity in formulae such as we have just given.
We may compare also the formulae used in greetings to strangers.The Heroic Age
H. Munro Chadwick
noun plural -las or -lae (-ˌliː)
- a method, pattern, or rule for doing or producing something, often one proved to be successful
- (as modifier)formula fiction
- a prescription for making up a medicine, baby's food, etc
- a substance prepared according to such a prescription
Word Origin for formula
plural of formula.
1630s, "words used in a ceremony or ritual," from Latin formula "form, draft, contract, regulation; rule, method, formula," literally "small form," diminutive of forma "form" (see form (n.)).
Modern sense is colored by Carlyle's use (1837) of the word for "rule slavishly followed without understanding" [OED].
Men who try to speak what they believe, are naked men fighting men quilted sevenfold in formulae. [Charles Kingsley, "Letters," 1861]
Mathematical use is from 1796; use in chemistry is from c.1846.