A formula is generally a fixed pattern that is used to achieve consistent results. It might be made up of words, numbers, or ideas that work together to define a procedure to be followed for the desired outcome.

Formulas, the patterns we follow in life, are used everywhere. In math or science, a formula might express a numeric or chemical equation; in cooking, a recipe is a formula. Baby formula is made up of the nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy growth, and the right formula for a fuel mixture is critical for a racing car's best performance. Everyone has their favorite formula for success. J. Paul Getty once gave his as "rise early, work hard, strike oil."

Primary Meanings of formula

a group of symbols that make a mathematical statement
directions for making something
a liquid food for infants
Full Definitions of formula

n a group of symbols that make a mathematical statement

sentential function
formal expression containing variables; becomes a sentence when variables are replaced by constants
a mathematical expression from which another expression is derived
exponential expression
a mathematical expression consisting of a constant (especially e) raised to some power
Type of:
mathematical statement
a statement of a mathematical relation

n a representation of a substance using symbols for its constituent elements

chemical formula
molecular formula
a chemical formula based on analysis and molecular weight
empirical formula
a chemical formula showing the ratio of elements in a compound rather than the total number of atoms
structural formula
an expanded molecular formula showing the arrangement of atoms within the molecule
Type of:
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

n directions for making something

Type of:
direction, instruction
a message describing how something is to be done

n something regarded as a normative example

“his formula for impressing visitors”
convention, normal, pattern, rule
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(sociology) the conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group
code of behavior, code of conduct
a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group
a behavioral convention or pattern characteristic of all members of a particular culture or of all human beings
courtly love
(Middle Ages) a highly conventionalized code of conduct for lovers
knight errantry
(Middle Ages) the code of conduct observed by a knight errant who is wandering in search of deeds of chivalry
code of correct conduct
Type of:
knowledge of how something is usually done

n (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems

“he gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials”
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a rule that describes how other rules should be used (as in AI)
algorithm, algorithmic program, algorithmic rule
a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem
heuristic, heuristic program, heuristic rule
a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem
(mathematics) an expression such that each term is generated by repeating a particular mathematical operation
sorting algorithm
an algorithm for sorting a list
stemmer, stemming algorithm
an algorithm for removing inflectional and derivational endings in order to reduce word forms to a common stem
lateral thinking
a heuristic for solving problems; you try to look at the problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on
Type of:
procedure, process
a particular course of action intended to achieve a result

n a conventionalized statement expressing some fundamental principle

Type of:
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

n a liquid food for infants

Type of:
any of several nutritive milklike liquids

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