9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for formulation
  • In his formulation he used geometry rather than the calculus.
  • The second part of that formulation explains both why planning won't work and why planning is necessary.
  • Question begging abounds in your formulation of the argument.
  • It is tempting to dismiss this trite formulation as a meaningless excuse for inaction.
  • But it's a funny formulation to say that the gap in demand is enough to explain our unemployment without a structural explanation.
  • It encouraged the formulation of national crime control master plans and national crime commissions.
  • However, as one catchy formulation has it, absence of evidence is not the same thing as evidence of absence.
  • In response to widespread outrage from customers, it reverted to the original formulation within three months.
  • Any society bound to make wrong moves and mistakes in policy formulation and implementation.
  • The sooner the better, because it will give them an opportunity to take part in the formulation of the structure.
British Dictionary definitions for formulation


noun (transitive)
the act or process of formulating
any mixture or substance prepared according to a particular formula
a medicinal preparation administered in a specific form, such as a tablet, linctus, ointment, or injection


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
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Word Origin and History for formulation

1876, from formulate + -ion.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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