Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A trademark used for a variety of high-pressure laminated plastic sheets of synthetic resin employed especially as a heat-resistant and chemical-resistant surface on tables and counters. This trademark sometimes occurs in print in attributive uses: "The restaurant was dimly lit, with plain Formica tables and cushioned booths” ( Chicago Tribune).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A taxonomic genus within the subtribe Formicini — many ants.
  • proper n. A plastic laminate material.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • proper n. A Linnæan genus of hymenopterous insects, including the common ants. See ant.
  • proper n. A thermosetting plastic material composed of melamine resin, having good heat and chemical resistance, and commonly used as the surface layer in laminated sheets employed as coverings for counter tops, walls, or furniture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The typical genus of ants of the family Formicidœ, formerly, as used by Linnæus, coextensive ‘with the whole group of formicarians, but now greatly restricted.
  • n. [lowercase] [ML., a kind of abscess (apostema), lit. an ant; also called porrum, lit. leek; cf. F. oignon, a bunion, lit. an onion.] An abscess; in falconry, a distemper in a hawk's bill which eats it away.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. type genus of the Formicidae
  • n. any of various plastic laminates containing melamine

Etymologies

Latin formica ("ant") (Wiktionary)
Coined in 1913 as a name for the material and the company producing it. Formica was originally intended as a replacement “for mica”, which was then commonly used for electrical insulation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • THE DAY TRIP: "Formica" at Domaine Pommery, 5 Place du General Gouraud, 51100 Reims, through August 26, pommery. com

    ARTINFO: Top 10 Shows to See in Paris

  • Turn onto a smooth, lightly greased surface such as Formica or marble and knead until smooth and satiny.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • All of the condominium homes are equipped with desirable features such as Formica laminate countertops in the kitchens and master bathrooms, Kitchen Craft 42-inch oak cabinetry, soaring

    Paramus Post

  • All of the condominium homes are equipped with desirable features such as Formica laminate countertops in the kitchens and master bathrooms, Mid-Continent 42-inch oak cabinetry, oak vanities in the bathrooms, soaring 9-foot ceilings, Dal ceramic tile in both bathrooms, gas fireplaces, luxurious tubs in the master bathrooms, security systems with intercoms and private balconies or terraces.

    Paramus Post

  • The good news is that materials such as Formica and other laminates are quite affordable and provide very attractive options that can improve the look of any kitchen.

    Shaister Miester Do Da

  • Many homes less than $200,000 have dated decor, such as Formica cabinets and linoleum floors, turning off buyers who don't want to renovate or can't afford to, Farrell said.

    The Enterprise Home RSS

  • While you, like me, may have arrived at a repertoire of greatest hits over the years—like the molasses crinkles my grandmother cribbed from a Wesson Oil cookbook, and the candy canes from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book that my mother taught me to roll across our Formica counter—each December still demands a new challenge.

    Wunderbar Cookies

  • A detached retina ruined Lon's wrestling career and stuck him on the business side of a greasy Formica counter in the bait shop.

    The Last of Boland

  • Granite counter tops are better than Formica but the latter is better than polished wood.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Wage Stagnation Debate

  • Sure, granite counter tops are better than Formica but private jets are nicer than first class commercial air travel.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Wage Stagnation Debate

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