Meaning of FORMULA in English

for ‧ mu ‧ la S3 W3 AC /ˈfɔːmjələ, ˈfɔːmjʊlə $ ˈfɔːr-/ BrE AmE noun ( plural formulas or formulae /-liː/)

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: 'small form' , from forma ; ⇨ ↑ form 1 ]

1 . [singular] a method or set of principles that you use to solve a problem or to make sure that something is successful:

We’re still searching for a peace formula.

formula for

a formula for the withdrawal of US forces from the area

There is no magic formula (=a method that is certain to be successful) that will transform sorrow into happiness.

With viewing figures up a million, the programme has a winning formula.

2 . [countable] a series of numbers or letters that represent a mathematical or scientific rule:

the formula for calculating distance

Sugar is represented by the simple formula CHO.

3 . [countable] a list of the substances used to make a medicine, ↑ fuel , drink etc, showing the amounts of each substance that should be used:

Our products are handmade from traditional formulas.

4 . Formula One/Two/Three etc a type of car racing, in which the different types are based on the size of the cars’ engines:

a Formula One car

5 . [uncountable] a type of liquid food for babies that is similar to a woman’s breast milk

6 . [countable] a fixed and familiar series of words that seems meaningless or insincere:

a speech full of the usual formulas and clichés

• • •


▪ system an organized set of ideas, methods, actions etc that you use to do something:

the airport security system


the system for dealing with refugees

▪ process a series of actions that are done in order to achieve a particular result:

the process of teaching children to read


Repeat the same process, until all the sugar has dissolved.

▪ procedure the official or usually agreed way of doing something:

You must follow the normal complaints procedure.


Large companies have a standard procedure for informing new employees about conditions of work.

▪ formula a method or set of principles that you use to solve a problem or make sure that something is successful:

The team are hoping to use the same winning formula that they used last season.


There is no magic formula for success (=a method that is certain to succeed) .

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.