The Plural of Formula: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

A formula is an important part of everyday life. They are used for so many things to maintain consistency and repeatability. If you want to learn what a formula is, the plural form of formula, the history and origin, synonyms, and examples of the word by using sentences in context, you have come to the right place.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Formula?

The singular noun formula is defined as: 

  • a set form of words for use in a ceremony or ritual
  • a conventionalized statement intended to express some fundamental truth or principle especially as a basis for negotiation or action, ex. a mathematical formula or a molecular formula
    • The product is made using a magic formula that the company refuses to reveal.
  • a milk mixture or substitute for mother’s milk to feed an infant
  • a general fact, rule, or principle expressed in usually mathematical symbols
  • a symbolic expression of the chemical composition or constitution of a substance
  • a group of symbols (such as letters and numbers) associated to express facts or data (such as the number and kinds of teeth in the jaw) concisely
  • a combination of signs in a logical calculus
  • a customary or set form or method allowing little room for originality 
    • All her books were written according to a familiar formula.

As you can see there are many different definitions of formula. We use them everyday whether we realize it or not. They set a consistent standard so that we may use and repeat a method and get the same result. Every single product we use is based off of a formula. Modern day society is built by factories, computers, and programming. All of these things use formulas to mass produce everything from cars, furniture, clothes, food, databases, and so much more

What Is the Plural of the Word Formula?

There are actually two different plural nouns of the word formula- formulas or formulae. Formulas are applied to provide a mathematical solution for real-world problems. Formulae are used to express relationships between various quantities. The noun formula has a Latin root, which is the derivation of the Latin plural formulae. Through common usage, the established form “formulas” (which adheres to the standard rules for forming plurals) is also now accepted as the English plural. (

The History and Origin of the Word

The word formula dates back to the 1630s from the Latin word formula or forma. Since then, each century has brought on a new meaning of the word. In the early 1700s it was first used as a prescription or recipe and then towards the end of the century it was used in mathematics. The mid 1800s brought the use of the word to chemistry and to follow a rule without understanding. And finally in the 1900s the word was used in the realm of motor racing as the class or specification of a car. 

Synonyms of Formula

  • Recipe- the means or procedure for doing something 
    • her recipe for attaining financial security is to save money, invest wisely, and live well within her means
  • Approach- an established course for traveling from one place to another 
    • will take the standard landing approach from the south
  • Arrangement- a method worked out in advance for achieving some objective 
    • will work out a visitation arrangement in court
  • Blueprint- a method worked out in advance for achieving some objective 
    • an ambitious young man with a remarkably detailed blueprint for becoming a millionaire by the age of 25
  • Design- a method worked out in advance for achieving some objective 
    • she always achieves her objective by design rather than by luck
  • Game plan- a method worked out in advance for achieving some objective 
    • what’s our game plan for touring the city?
  • Program- a listing of things to be presented or considered (as at a concert or play) 
    • the program will tell us the scheduled order of musical numbers
  • Standard- something set up as an example against which others of the same type are compared 
    • the animation in that movie set the standard against which all later animated cartoons were judged
  • Guideline- something usually in writing that shows or tells how something should be done 
    • The government has issued new guidelines for following a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Here are some basic guidelines for helping you choose a dishwasher.
  • Method- the means or procedure for doing something 
    • the city council is stuck in the last century and needs to adopt more modern methods for doing things

Example Sentences of the Word in Context

– The formula made for a sweaty pursuit, as players tried to gather intel and track down key locations on the mini-quest.

Mike Hume, Washington Post, “‘Call of Duty: Warzone’ event delivers a sweaty quest, new ‘Black Ops Cold War’ trailer,” 26 Aug. 2020 

– Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but who better to turn to for tips than the very women who have made the sea—or, at least, visions of it—their life’s work?

 Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, “Here’s What to Bring to the Beach, According to 5 Sun Worshippers,” 22 Aug. 2020 

– But that same formula — which generates rankings based on an industry average across several recruiting services — rates IU’s per-player class average 86.64 out of 100.

 Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, “IU football recruiting: Tom Allen may not have many spots left in 2021 class,” 21 Aug. 2020 

– The trio requires bottle-feeding with specialized formula, which is hard to come by because of the pandemic.

Doug Gimesy, National Geographic, “Raising orphaned baby wombats under lockdown,” 21 Aug. 2020


The English language can be a tricky thing since it is a compilation of many other languages. Finding the correct plural forms of words is an important step to becoming well educated. Now you are an expert on all things regarding formulas.