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formula

[fawr-myuh-luh] /ˈfɔr myə lə/
noun, plural formulas, formulae
[fawr-myuh-lee] /ˈfɔr myəˌli/ (Show IPA)
1.
a set form of words, as for stating or declaring something definitely or authoritatively, for indicating procedure to be followed, or for prescribed use on some ceremonial occasion.
2.
any fixed or conventional method for doing something:
His mystery stories were written according to a popular formula.
3.
Mathematics.
  1. a rule or principle, frequently expressed in algebraic symbols.
  2. such a symbolic expression.
4.
Chemistry. an expression of the constituents of a compound by symbols and figures.
5.
a recipe or prescription:
a new formula for currant wine.
6.
a special nutritive mixture, especially of milk, sugar, and water, in prescribed proportions for feeding a baby.
7.
a formal statement of religious doctrine.
8.
(initial capital letter) a set of specifications as to weight, engine displacement, fuel capacity, etc., for defining a class of racing cars (usually followed by a limiting numerical designation):
Some races are open to Formula One cars.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; < Latin: register, form, rule. See form, -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for formula
  • The university uses its own formula for calculating job rank.
  • Then ask students to use the population density formula and a calculator to calculate the population density for each state.
  • Experiment with our variations to find your favorite formula.
  • My point is that it doesn't specify a formula at all.
  • Whatever formula is chosen, some bosses are bound to try to manipulate it.
  • Then use the following formula to determine the average percentage weight of the packaging.
  • Hubbell describes the behavior of species with a--controversial--mathematical formula.
  • Use a high-nitrogen formula winter to early summer, a low-nitrogen product from late summer through fall.
  • The formula needs to be reworked to take into account the number of units students take and the majors they are in.
  • Because the benefit formula is progressive, lower earners get a higher rate, while higher earners receive an even lower rate.
British Dictionary definitions for formula

formula

/ˈfɔːmjʊlə/
noun (pl) -las, -lae (-ˌliː)
1.
an established form or set of words, as used in religious ceremonies, legal proceedings, etc
2.
(maths, physics) a general relationship, principle, or rule stated, often as an equation, in the form of symbols
3.
(chem) a representation of molecules, radicals, ions, etc, expressed in the symbols of the atoms of their constituent elements See molecular formula, empirical formula, structural formula
4.
  1. a method, pattern, or rule for doing or producing something, often one proved to be successful
  2. (as modifier): formula fiction
5.
  1. a prescription for making up a medicine, baby's food, etc
  2. a substance prepared according to such a prescription
6.
(motor racing) the specific category in which a particular type of car competes, judged according to engine size, weight, and fuel capacity
Derived Forms
formulaic (ˌfɔːmjʊˈleɪɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: diminutive of formaform
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
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Word Origin and History for formula
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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formula in Medicine

formula for·mu·la (fôr'myə-lə)
n. pl. for·mu·las or for·mu·lae (-lē')

  1. A symbolic representation of the chemical composition or of the chemical composition and structure of a compound.

  2. The chemical compound so represented.

  3. A prescription of ingredients in fixed proportion; a recipe.

  4. A liquid food for infants, containing most of the nutrients in human milk.

  5. A mathematical statement, especially an equation, of a fact, rule, principle, or other logical relation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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formula in Science
formula
  (fôr'myə-lə)   
Plural formulas or formulae (fôr'myə-lē')
  1. A set of symbols showing the composition of a chemical compound. A formula lists the elements contained within it and indicates the number of atoms of each element with a subscript numeral if the number is more than 1. For example, H2O is the formula for water, where H2 indicates two atoms of hydrogen and O indicates one atom of oxygen.

  2. A set of symbols expressing a mathematical rule or principle. For example, the formula for the area of a rectangle is a = lw, where a is the area, l the length, and w the width.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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formula in Technology


1. In logic, a sequence of symbols representing terms, predicates, connectives and quantifiers which is either true or false.
2. FORTH Music Language. An extension of FORTH with concurrent note-playing processes. Runs on Macintosh and Atari ST with MIDI output.
["Formula: A Programming Language for Expressive Computer Music", D.P. Anderson et al Computer 24(7):12 (Jul 1991)].
3. Preprocessor language for the Acorn Archimedes, allowing inline high-level statements to be entered in an assembly program. Written in nawk.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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