1

formal

adjective for·mal \ ˈfȯr-məl \

Definition of formal

1 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
2 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
3 a :characterized by punctilious respect for form :methodical
  • very formal in all his dealings
b :rigidly ceremonious :prim
  • the ambience was overly formal, everyone but me was wearing a suit and tie
  • —James Suckling
4 :having the appearance without the substance
  • formal Christians who go to church only at Easter

formally

play \ˈfȯr-mə-lē\ adverb

formalness

noun

Origin and Etymology of formal

Middle English, from Latin formalis, from forma

Synonym Discussion of formal

ceremonial, ceremonious, formal, conventional mean marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms. ceremonial and ceremonious both imply strict attention to what is prescribed by custom or by ritual, but ceremonial applies to things that are associated with ceremonies
    • a ceremonial offering
, ceremonious to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony.
    • made his ceremonious entrance
formal applies both to things prescribed by and to persons obedient to custom and may suggest stiff, restrained, or old-fashioned behavior.
    • a formal report
    • the headmaster's formal manner
conventional implies accord with general custom and usage
    • conventional courtesy
and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence.
    • conventional fiction

2

formal

noun

Definition of formal

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

Examples of formal in a Sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of formal


3

formal

adjective

Definition of formal

Origin and Etymology of formal

formula + 1-al

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


FORMAL Defined for English Language Learners

formal

noun

Definition of formal for English Language Learners

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


FORMAL Defined for Kids

1

formal

adjective for·mal \ ˈfȯr-məl \

Definition of formal for Students

1 :following established form, custom, or rule
  • She wrote a formal apology.
2 :acquired by attending classes in a school
  • a formal education
3 :requiring proper clothing and manners
  • a formal dance
4 :suitable for a proper occasion
  • formal attire

formally

adverb

Word Root of formal

The Latin word forma, meaning “form” or “shape,” gives us the root form. Words from the Latin forma have something to do with shape. The form of a person or thing is its shape. To conform is to fit in with others in form, shape, or manner. Something formal, such as dinner, follows a specific custom or form. The format of something, such as a book, is its general shape and arrangement.


2

formal

noun

Definition of formal for Students

:a social gathering that requires proper clothing and behavior

Law Dictionary

formal

adjective for·mal

legal Definition of formal

1 :relating to or involving outward form, structure, or arrangement rather than content
  • a formal defect in the pleadings
2 :requiring special or established solemnities or formalities especially in order to be effective or valid under the law
  • received formal notice
  • a formal criminal charge
3 :being such only as a matter of form :nominal
  • a formal party to a lawsuit


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