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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>