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

First recorded in 1855–60; formul(a) + -ate1
Related formsfor·mu·la·ble [fawr-myuh-luh-buhl] /ˈfɔr myə lə bəl/, adjectivefor·mu·la·tion, nounfor·mu·la·tor, nounnon·for·mu·la·tion, nounpre·for·mu·late, verb (used with object), pre·for·mu·lat·ed, pre·for·mu·lat·ing.pre·for·mu·la·tion, nounun·for·mu·lat·ed, adjectivewell-for·mu·lat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for formulate

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unformulated

accepted, verbal, tacit, conventional, customary, oral, spoken, traditional, unsaid, vocal, unformulated, unrecorded

Examples from the Web for unformulated

Historical Examples of unformulated

  • It was upon this unformulated theory that all future differences were to arise.

    The Siege of Boston

    Allen French

  • Independence and optimism are vital parts of his unformulated creed.

    The Bibliotaph

    Leon H. Vincent

  • Such, somewhere, was her belief, quite obscure and unformulated.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • Gravitation was a force whose laws and character were yet unformulated.

  • And they worked as if under the impulse of some unformulated motive.

    Angel Island

    Inez Haynes Gillmore

British Dictionary definitions for unformulated


verb (tr)
  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 Formsformulator, 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

Word Origin and History for unformulated



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper