View synonyms for formulate


[ fawr-myuh-leyt ]

verb (used with object)

, for·mu·lat·ed, for·mu·lat·ing.
  1. to express in precise form; state definitely or systematically:

    He finds it extremely difficult to formulate his new theory.

    Synonyms: specify, define, compose, frame, articulate

  2. to devise or develop, as a method, system, etc.
  3. to reduce to or express in a formula.


/ ˈfɔːmjʊˌleɪt /


  1. to put into or express in systematic terms; express in or as if in a formula
  2. to devise

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Derived Forms

  • ˈformuˌlator, noun

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Other Words From

  • for·mu·la·ble [fawr, -my, uh, -l, uh, -b, uh, l], adjective
  • formu·lation noun
  • formu·lator noun
  • nonfor·mu·lation noun
  • pre·formu·late verb (used with object) preformulated preformulating
  • prefor·mu·lation noun
  • un·formu·lated adjective
  • well-formu·lated adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of formulate1

First recorded in 1855–60; formul(a) + -ate 1

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Example Sentences

Decision making is about formulating alternative plans of action, considering their consequences, and choosing between them.

From Quartz

It’s possible, the third employee speculated, that the lack of a strategy being communicated could be the result of their company’s top leaders formulating an overall strategy that has yet to trickle down.

From Digiday

And, as the Democrats’ platform and policy plans are formulated, the Sanders wing of the party has continued to play this role.

The idea was formulated at the tail end of the Cold War as a multinational collaboration, but design work didn’t properly start until the turn of the millennium, and its parent organization wasn’t launched until 2007.

We have since engaged in detailed conversations with Facebook and are pleased to see their new commitments based on a four-point action plan formulated by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media.

From Digiday

There were wiki pages where users could jointly formulate and debate the rules.

After reading the script for this episode, did you formulate any theories about why the Terminans do what they do?

He asked Vice President Joe Biden to help formulate ways to curb gun violence.

It works with members of Congress and the Obama administration to formulate center-left progressive policies.

So yes, there was a change in that we applied those algorithms, or the results there-of, to formulate the "who"/"what" response.

He attempted to formulate some plans in his mind, and after a time it occurred to him that he should go back West to Gregory.

He even began to formulate plans by which he could lure the unsuspecting Peter Levine into telling what he knew.

Bristow did not have time or need to formulate an excuse for his presence before Mr. Fulton rushed up the steps to meet Maria.

It is hardly possible of course from a distance of 57 miles to formulate an accurate idea of a mountain's shape.

He toiled in the daytime to formulate his thoughts for the evening.