Definition of informal in English:

informal

adjective

  • 1Having a relaxed, friendly, or unofficial style, manner, or nature:

    ‘an informal atmosphere’
    ‘an informal agreement between the two companies’
    • ‘I generally spent most of what I had on used records, then lent them to friends in informal return for their holdings.’
    • ‘It is an army establishment and although run on military lines the atmosphere is easy, informal and friendly.’
    • ‘She wins a £100 prize for the photograph that judges decided best summed up the friendly and informal atmosphere of the event.’
    • ‘The twins were delighted with the atmosphere and the informal nature of the celebrations.’
    • ‘The service throughout was extremely friendly and the informal atmosphere was enhanced by the fact that we felt we could have sat there all afternoon if we had wanted to.’
    • ‘He is undoubtedly a purist, but he writes from the heart in an informal style that welcomes the reader as a close friend.’
    • ‘But more people were coming into Yorkshire on business and on informal holidays, visiting friends and relatives.’
    • ‘This will be an informal gathering of friends and neighbours and all who would like to come along are invited to do so.’
    • ‘Part of the appeal of tutoring is the informal nature of the job and the casual, friendly relationship it allows tutors and faculty members to develop.’
    • ‘We immediately relaxed into the restaurant's friendly, informal atmosphere.’
    • ‘Be prepared to share a table as the idea here is to create an informal and easy going atmosphere.’
    • ‘That kind of thing helps create the friendly, informal atmosphere that makes the blogosphere so much fun to be a part of.’
    • ‘Last night I attended the informal opening of a friend's bar on 2nd Avenue.’
    • ‘It's a friendly, informal place, and easy to relax in.’
    • ‘A lot of what makes weblogs interesting is their personal, ephemeral, and informal nature.’
    • ‘The building will be open to everyone, the atmosphere will be friendly, inclusive and informal.’
    • ‘The atmosphere is relaxed, informal and friendly.’
    • ‘Many people dislike his informal style of leadership.’
    • ‘Refreshments were provided and enjoyed by all in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.’
    • ‘Consequently it has a very informal style, spilling down a hillside on the Atlantic coast with sections divided between limestone boulders.’
    casual, relaxed, easy-going, natural, unceremonious, unofficial, non-formal, unstudied, unaffected
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    1. 1.1 (of dress) casual; suitable for everyday wear:
      ‘the guys wore very informal clothes’
      • ‘Cate nodded and slipped out of her informal dress that she had worn all day.’
      • ‘Remember however that most reservation only dining restaurants require formal or informal dress attire as well.’
      • ‘Many locals dress in period costume to set the tone for the afternoon, but the dress code is informal, so no one needs to feel pressured.’
      • ‘Dress in class is informal, although men should consider a tie for more formal occasions.’
      • ‘The Croydon Symphony Orchestra was at work in informal dress; in shirt-sleeves, jeans and other casual clothes.’
      • ‘She now wore a low-cut pink top that flirted with the school's informal dress code.’
      • ‘He liked jazz, preferred informal dress, didn't much care for hunting and shooting, and was openly contemptuous of red carpets.’
      • ‘This identified him as a doctor, yet he wore simple, informal clothes.’
      • ‘We asked them to be fairly informal in their dress and not to carry clip boards or briefcases but to carry the questionnaires around in plastic bags.’
      • ‘So if you don't have that much time left before you wedding, an informal dress could be a good choice.’
      • ‘Most performers wear the informal street clothes of a 26-year-old garage mechanic.’
      • ‘Dress is informal and music will be provided by the Brose Walsh Band.’
      • ‘Tickets are now available priced at £20 and 30 euro and the dress code is informal.’
      • ‘It was more like a dress jacket with black pants because he had leaned towards the informal side and wasn't wearing a tie or a vest.’
      • ‘Some people were wearing suits while a few others were in informal clothing.’
      • ‘Fernandes' informal wear had that wily old politician and general Fidel Ramos envious.’
      casual, relaxed, comfortable, everyday, sloppy, leisure
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  • 2Denoting the grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idiom suitable to everyday language and conversation rather than to official or formal contexts.

    • ‘Idiomatic usages are usually colloquial and informal, more or less obvious figurative extensions of ordinary uses.’
    • ‘Within months, the discussions turned from informal to formal.’
    • ‘The content of websites can be written in formal as well as informal language.’
    • ‘They speak English in formal discourse or political discussions and shift to Patois in informal conversation and gossip.’
    • ‘It is not unusual for Coloreds to combine the two languages in a distinctive, informal local dialect.’
    • ‘Stories are shared through the media, seminars, and classes and during informal conversations in the workplace.’
    • ‘This involved brief informal conversations with the women about their attitudes regarding the men who pass by their windows.’
    • ‘The blend of formal and informal language suits the school's mission and vision perfectly.’
    • ‘It is helped by market research showing that the British public is starting to like the Liverpool accent again; it sounds friendly and informal.’
    • ‘Heritage language learners often speak informal dialects and/or registers of their respective languages.’
    • ‘No matter how serious minded the intention behind the blog, the Internet forces the writer into shortened, informal style.’
    • ‘And what about informal and formal names for living things?’
    • ‘It is apparent that the writing style is simple and informal.’
    • ‘Iago is particularly clever at varying his language across the formal / informal register to suit his listeners.’
    • ‘It should feel like an informal conversation between people with the same goals, all trying to explore and surface good thinking.’
    • ‘This function of informal language will generate terms and labels that differ from official usage in several ways.’
    • ‘I was completely entranced listening to their informal conversation and subsequent business discussion, sitting there with a stupid smile on my face.’
    • ‘There is considerable lexical borrowing and linguistic code switching in informal conversation.’
    • ‘These languages are not merely a set of informal gestures, nor are they a signed version of any particular spoken language.’
    • ‘A small percentage of the students admit that sometimes both they and their parents speak an informal language variety at home.’
    colloquial, vernacular, idiomatic, demotic, non-standard, popular, dialectal, non-literary
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  • 3(of economic activity) carried on by self-employed or independent people on a small scale, especially unofficially or illegally:

    ‘Peru's huge and dense informal sector of street vendors and cottage industries’
    • ‘One-third of the economically active population works in the informal sector.’
    • ‘She said the Government supported the private sector and informal sector participation in the country as a quick way of mending the economy.’
    • ‘However, to the many more with no such hope, the only alternatives are to migrate or to embrace the illegality of the informal economy.’
    • ‘The informal economic sector is increasing in importance.’
    • ‘It is believed that these informal sector activities create significant employment opportunities.’
    • ‘Many people maintain a formal job for health benefits and pensions, but rely on a range of informal activities to get by.’
    • ‘The less economic freedom the bigger will the informal sector be, they argue.’
    • ‘Business' role in the economy of child labor has at least three dimensions, both in the formal and informal economic sectors.’
    • ‘The real macroeconomic trend of informal labour, in other words, is the reproduction of absolute poverty.’
    • ‘There are many more carpentry workshops owned by native Africans operating in the informal sector of the economy.’
    • ‘In addition, it is generally assumed that many women are employed in nonregistered and underpaid informal activities.’
    • ‘Some economists estimate that the informal sector makes up roughly 40 percent of the economy.’
    • ‘Surveys in Niger in 1982 and 1987 showed a rising level of activity and wage rates in the informal sector.’
    • ‘Another innovative aspect of this work is the attention paid to the informal and illegal sectors of the economy.’
    • ‘In Peru's informal economic sector, street vendors sell anything from food to flowers.’
    • ‘To make ends meet, they engage in many informal activities.’
    • ‘These developments supplanted the need for many informal sector activities.’
    • ‘The illegal informal traders are posing a direct challenge to the City of Windhoek.’
    • ‘There is no longer any mystery as to why so much economic activity in developing countries is in the informal sector.’
    • ‘Evasion and escape to the informal sector are big problems in many countries, especially developing countries.’
    unofficial, irregular, grey, black, back-door, illegal, illicit
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Pronunciation:

informal

/ɪnˈfɔːm(ə)l/