formalism

noun for·mal·ism \ ˈfȯr-mə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of formalism

1 : the practice or the doctrine of strict adherence to prescribed or external forms (as in religion or art); also : an instance of this
2 : marked attention to arrangement, style, or artistic means (as in art or literature) usually with corresponding de-emphasis of content

formalist

play \ˈfȯr-mə-list\ noun or adjective

formalistic

play \ˌfȯr-mə-ˈli-stik\ adjective

Recent Examples of formalism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of formalism

1839


FORMALISM Defined for English Language Learners

formalism

noun

Definition of formalism for English Language Learners

  • : a method, style, way of thinking, etc., that shows very careful attention to traditional forms and rules



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