Etymology
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formulate (v.)

"to express in a formula," 1837, from formula + -ate (2). Won out over formulize (1842); formularize (1845). Related: Formulated; formulating.

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Definitions of formulate

formulate (v.)
elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses;
Synonyms: explicate / develop
formulate (v.)
come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort;
Synonyms: invent / contrive / devise / excogitate / forge
formulate (v.)
put into words or an expression;
He formulated his concerns to the board of trustees
Synonyms: give voice / word / phrase / articulate
formulate (v.)
prepare according to a formula;
From wordnet.princeton.edu