adjective for·mal \ˈfr-məl\

Definition of FORMAL

a :  belonging to or constituting the form or essence of a thing <formal cause>
b :  relating to or involving the outward form, structure, relationships, or arrangement of elements rather than content <formal logic> <a formal style of painting> <a formal approach to comparative linguistics>
a :  following or according with established form, custom, or rule <lacked formal schooling> <a formal dinner party> <formal attire>
b :  done in due or lawful form <a formal contract> <received formal recognition>
a :  characterized by punctilious respect for form :  methodical <very formal in all his dealings>
b :  rigidly ceremonious :  prim
:  having the appearance without the substance <formal Christians who go to church only at Easter>
for·mal·ly \-mə-lē\ adverb
for·mal·ness noun

Origin of FORMAL

Middle English, from Latin formalis, from forma
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with FORMAL



: a social gathering (such as a dance) that requires formal dress and manners : a formal event

Full Definition of FORMAL

:  something (as a dance or a dress) formal in character

Examples of FORMAL

  1. <he asked her to the formal at the end of the year>

First Known Use of FORMAL


Other Clothing Terms

babushka, brogue, bumbershoot, cravat, dishabille, furbelow, layette, raiment, spectator



Definition of FORMAL

:  3molar

Origin of FORMAL

formula + 1-al
First Known Use: circa 1934

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

alkali, cation, decant, hygroscopic, isotope, oxidize, slurry, solute, viscous
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