1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Formula

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FORMULA (Lat. diminutive of forma, shape, pattern, &c., especially used of rules of judicial procedure), in general, a stereotyped form of words to be used on stated occasions, for specific purposes, ceremonies, &c. In the sciences, the word usually denotes a symbolical statement of certain facts; for example, a chemical formula exhibits the composition of a substance (see Chemistry); a botanical formula gives the differentia of a plant; a dentition formula indicates the arrangement and number of the teeth of an animal.