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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Formula \For"mu*la\, n.; pl. E. Formulas, L. Formul[ae]. [L., dim. of forma form, model. SeeForm, n.] 1. A prescribed or set form; an established rule; a fixed or conventional method in which anything is to be done, arranged, or said. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eccl.) A written confession of faith; a formal statement of foctrines. [1913 Webster] 3. (Math.) A rule or principle expressed in algebraic language; as, the binominal formula. [1913 Webster] 4. (Med.) A prescription or recipe for the preparation of a medicinal compound. [1913 Webster] 5. (Chem.) A symbolic expression (by means of letters, figures, etc.) of the constituents or constitution of a compound. [1913 Webster] Note: Chemical formul[ae] consist of the abbreviations of the names of the elements, with a small figure at the lower right hand, to denote the number of atoms of each element contained. [1913 Webster] Empirical formula (Chem.), an expression which gives the simple proportion of the constituents; as, the empirical formula of acetic acid is C2H4O2. Graphic formula, Rational formula (Chem.), an expression of the constitution, and in a limited sense of the structure, of a compound, by the grouping of its atoms or radicals; as, a rational formula of acetic acid is CH3.(C:O).OH; -- called also structural formula, constitutional formula, etc. See also the formula of Benzene nucleus, under Benzene. Molecular formula (Chem.), a formula indicating the supposed molecular constitution of a compound. [1913 Webster]