Definition of formulary in US English:



  • 1A collection of formulas or set forms, especially for use in religious ceremonies.

    • ‘Similarly, there was on the whole no great tension between accepting basic Christian formularies and utilizing a whole set of other devices to manage nature and assuage anxiety.’
    • ‘The revealed theology of the Anglican formularies is based on the Catholic dogma of the Holy Trinity and the function of Christ as mediator between God and man that was and is the standard of Christian orthodoxy.’
    • ‘Not only are they against the spirit and the letter of Anglican formularies, they are against one of the decrees of the Council of Nicaea, as we point out.’
    • ‘One source that is missing is the historic formularies, the ‘confessional’ documents of the various Christian traditions.’
    • ‘Worship is deeply important to Anglicans, and for that reason the Book of Common Prayer occupies an important place in Anglican formularies.’
    • ‘This should prevent us from a precipitous and unilateral changing of symbols and formularies until the Holy Spirit has more time to bring to light who the weaker brother really is.’
    • ‘Along with those of other churches its theological formularies were excluded from the curricula of universities.’
    • ‘The grace of God that was at work in our spiritual forebears is still at work, teaching us not simply how to repeat their formularies, but how to see God's grace offering life in our own day, in our own varied contexts.’
    • ‘The unilateral changing of formularies would make impossible such a creative relaxation of tensions.’
    form of words, set expression, phrase, saying, aphorism
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  • 2An official list giving details of medicines that may be prescribed.

    • ‘Linking guidelines to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's formulary (Medicines for Children) might facilitate this.’
    • ‘The pharmacists prescribed treatments from a limited formulary.’
    • ‘This is especially important for drugs listed in the formulary with a black triangle next to the drug's name (any new NSAID would carry this symbol).’
    • ‘When pharmaceutical companies raise the price of drugs to boost their profits, HMOs react by imposing drug formularies - a list of specific prescription drugs approved for use by a managed care plan.’
    • ‘The choice of statin often is constrained by cost-oriented managed care formularies and differential co-payment levels.’
    • ‘Health insurers, for instance, are developing formularies.’
    • ‘A tremendous amount of work goes into ensuring that the formulary contains sufficient information for healthcare professionals to use medicines safely and rationally.’
    • ‘Therefore, miconazole powder will be replacing nystatin powder in the UIHC formulary in mid-June.’
    • ‘They'd put in three years of development on the product and had 50 pages of flavor and medicine combinations in their formulary.’
    • ‘Clinicians use administrative functions for the development and sharing of lists and databases to keep track of drug formularies, call schedules, and contact details.’
    • ‘The national formulary of medicines lists the essential drugs that can be acquired by, and distributed through, Mozambique's national health system.’
    • ‘The handhelds will give students access to a large body of reference works provided by NCSU, such as lab normal values, virus references, medical dictionaries and drug formularies.’
    • ‘We rationalised the pharmacy list with a small yet comprehensive formulary of inexpensive drugs, drawn from the World Health Organization essential drugs list.’
    • ‘The formulary, however, does not cover items such as over-the-counter drugs.’
    • ‘Essential drug lists or formularies are already widespread in rich countries - for example, in hospitals, in health maintenance organisations in the United States, and in primary care in the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘Witnesses also called for stronger enforcement of formularies in general practices, declaration by pharmaceutical companies of their contact with and payments to doctors, and regulation of the industry's influence on consumers.’
    • ‘Guidance should be included in drug information leaflets and national drug formularies to help doctors identify the best substitutes for drugs that cannot be given parenterally.’
    • ‘That one card could cover a predetermined formulary of drugs, just as insurance plans and hospitals use formularies for drug savings.’
    • ‘This is often not sufficiently pointed out in herb books and formularies and I am sure it is one of the reasons that occasionally intended effects are not achieved clinically.’
    • ‘However, the purpose of these warnings is to give information on potential interactions, which would otherwise have to be sought in a drug formulary.’


  • Relating to or using officially prescribed formulas.

    • ‘Most patients who transferred to the pharmacy were prescribed a formulary product (table).’
    • ‘The choice of specific agents will be dictated by the results of sensitivity testing, the availability of these agents, and issues of cost and formulary restriction.’
    • ‘English lawyers knew of this procedure, and one even wrote a book on it, but there is no written trace of English legal knowledge, at this time, of the earlier roman formulary procedure.’
    • ‘At the other end of the spectrum is the formulary approach: banking is defined in terms of a few, generalized characteristics.’
    • ‘Through unique formulary technology, both detrimental attributes are eliminated in the described 60% ethyl alcohol hand gel formulation.’


Mid 16th century: the noun from French formulaire or medieval Latin formularius (liber) ‘(book) of formulae’, from Latin formula (see formula); the adjective (early 18th century) is directly from formula.