Definition of informal in English:



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

    ‘an informal atmosphere’
    ‘an informal agreement between the two companies’
    • ‘Be prepared to share a table as the idea here is to create an informal and easy going atmosphere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This will be an informal gathering of friends and neighbours and all who would like to come along are invited to do so.’
    • ‘It's a friendly, informal place, and easy to relax in.’
    • ‘We immediately relaxed into the restaurant's friendly, informal atmosphere.’
    • ‘A lot of what makes weblogs interesting is their personal, ephemeral, and informal nature.’
    • ‘Refreshments were provided and enjoyed by all in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.’
    • ‘But more people were coming into Yorkshire on business and on informal holidays, visiting friends and relatives.’
    • ‘Many people dislike his informal style of leadership.’
    • ‘That kind of thing helps create the friendly, informal atmosphere that makes the blogosphere so much fun to be a part of.’
    • ‘She wins a £100 prize for the photograph that judges decided best summed up the friendly and informal atmosphere of the event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last night I attended the informal opening of a friend's bar on 2nd Avenue.’
    • ‘The atmosphere is relaxed, informal and friendly.’
    • ‘Consequently it has a very informal style, spilling down a hillside on the Atlantic coast with sections divided between limestone boulders.’
    • ‘The building will be open to everyone, the atmosphere will be friendly, inclusive and informal.’
    • ‘The twins were delighted with the atmosphere and the informal nature of the celebrations.’
    • ‘He is undoubtedly a purist, but he writes from the heart in an informal style that welcomes the reader as a close friend.’
    • ‘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.’
    casual, relaxed, easy-going, natural, unceremonious, unofficial, non-formal, unstudied, unaffected
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of dress) casual; suitable for everyday wear.
      ‘the guys wore very 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.’
      • ‘He liked jazz, preferred informal dress, didn't much care for hunting and shooting, and was openly contemptuous of red carpets.’
      • ‘The Croydon Symphony Orchestra was at work in informal dress; in shirt-sleeves, jeans and other casual clothes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dress in class is informal, although men should consider a tie for more formal occasions.’
      • ‘She now wore a low-cut pink top that flirted with the school's informal dress code.’
      • ‘Cate nodded and slipped out of her informal dress that she had worn all day.’
      • ‘Some people were wearing suits while a few others were in informal clothing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fernandes' informal wear had that wily old politician and general Fidel Ramos envious.’
      • ‘So if you don't have that much time left before you wedding, an informal dress could be a good choice.’
      • ‘Tickets are now available priced at £20 and 30 euro and the dress code is informal.’
      • ‘This identified him as a doctor, yet he wore simple, informal clothes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Remember however that most reservation only dining restaurants require formal or informal dress attire as well.’
      casual, relaxed, comfortable, everyday, sloppy, leisure
      View synonyms
  • 2Denoting the grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idiom suitable to everyday language and conversation rather than to official or formal contexts.

    • ‘I was completely entranced listening to their informal conversation and subsequent business discussion, sitting there with a stupid smile on my face.’
    • ‘It should feel like an informal conversation between people with the same goals, all trying to explore and surface good thinking.’
    • ‘It is helped by market research showing that the British public is starting to like the Liverpool accent again; it sounds friendly and informal.’
    • ‘Stories are shared through the media, seminars, and classes and during informal conversations in the workplace.’
    • ‘It is apparent that the writing style is simple and informal.’
    • ‘There is considerable lexical borrowing and linguistic code switching in informal conversation.’
    • ‘They speak English in formal discourse or political discussions and shift to Patois in informal conversation and gossip.’
    • ‘This function of informal language will generate terms and labels that differ from official usage in several ways.’
    • ‘It is not unusual for Coloreds to combine the two languages in a distinctive, informal local dialect.’
    • ‘Within months, the discussions turned from informal to formal.’
    • ‘This involved brief informal conversations with the women about their attitudes regarding the men who pass by their windows.’
    • ‘Heritage language learners often speak informal dialects and/or registers of their respective languages.’
    • ‘Idiomatic usages are usually colloquial and informal, more or less obvious figurative extensions of ordinary uses.’
    • ‘And what about informal and formal names for living things?’
    • ‘No matter how serious minded the intention behind the blog, the Internet forces the writer into shortened, informal style.’
    • ‘The blend of formal and informal language suits the school's mission and vision perfectly.’
    • ‘Iago is particularly clever at varying his language across the formal / informal register to suit his listeners.’
    • ‘A small percentage of the students admit that sometimes both they and their parents speak an informal language variety at home.’
    • ‘These languages are not merely a set of informal gestures, nor are they a signed version of any particular spoken language.’
    • ‘The content of websites can be written in formal as well as informal language.’
    colloquial, vernacular, idiomatic, demotic, non-standard, popular, dialectal, non-literary
    View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘There are many more carpentry workshops owned by native Africans operating in the informal sector of the economy.’
    • ‘Business' role in the economy of child labor has at least three dimensions, both in the formal and informal economic sectors.’
    • ‘Evasion and escape to the informal sector are big problems in many countries, especially developing countries.’
    • ‘The real macroeconomic trend of informal labour, in other words, is the reproduction of absolute poverty.’
    • ‘There is no longer any mystery as to why so much economic activity in developing countries is in the informal sector.’
    • ‘Some economists estimate that the informal sector makes up roughly 40 percent of the economy.’
    • ‘The less economic freedom the bigger will the informal sector be, they argue.’
    • ‘One-third of the economically active population works in the informal sector.’
    • ‘The informal economic sector is increasing in importance.’
    • ‘Many people maintain a formal job for health benefits and pensions, but rely on a range of informal activities to get by.’
    • ‘However, to the many more with no such hope, the only alternatives are to migrate or to embrace the illegality of the informal economy.’
    • ‘She said the Government supported the private sector and informal sector participation in the country as a quick way of mending the economy.’
    • ‘To make ends meet, they engage in many informal activities.’
    • ‘In addition, it is generally assumed that many women are employed in nonregistered and underpaid informal activities.’
    • ‘The illegal informal traders are posing a direct challenge to the City of Windhoek.’
    • ‘Another innovative aspect of this work is the attention paid to the informal and illegal sectors of the economy.’
    • ‘It is believed that these informal sector activities create significant employment opportunities.’
    • ‘Surveys in Niger in 1982 and 1987 showed a rising level of activity and wage rates in the informal sector.’
    • ‘These developments supplanted the need for many informal sector activities.’
    • ‘In Peru's informal economic sector, street vendors sell anything from food to flowers.’
    unofficial, irregular, grey, black, back-door, illegal, illicit
    View synonyms