for·​mal·​ize | \ ˈfȯr-mə-ˌlīz How to pronounce formalize (audio) \
formalized; formalizing

Definition of formalize

transitive verb

1 : to give a certain or definite form to : shape
2a : to make formal
b : to give formal status or approval to

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Other Words from formalize

formalizable \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce formalize (audio) \ adjective
formalization \ ˌfȯr-​mə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce formalize (audio) \ noun
formalizer \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce formalize (audio) \ noun

Examples of formalize in a Sentence

The company has formalized its hiring practices. Congress formalized the policy by making it law.
Recent Examples on the Web After lawmakers count the electoral college votes declaring Biden the winner, Vice President Pence — who has also backed Cruz’s challenge — will formalize the president-elect’s win. Washington Post, "Sen. Tom Cotton, a Trump ally, won’t join GOP electoral college challenge, saying it ‘won’t give him a second term’," 4 Jan. 2021 Mario Cristobal expected to have news of a contract extension to share later this week, and Oregon will formalize a new six-year deal with the third-year coach on Thursday. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "University of Oregon board of trustees to meet Thursday to vote on 6-year, $27.3 million contract for Mario Cristobal," 16 Dec. 2020 Electors from each state meet on Dec. 14 after a presidential election – that’s next Monday – to formalize the outcome of the vote. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "John Cornyn tweets about ‘President-elect Joe Biden,’ as list of GOP holdouts and deniers remains long," 9 Dec. 2020 Dotson is applying to formalize Sanctuary as a nonprofit. Janelle Bitker,, "Chef of Miss Ollie’s is shifting away from her popular Oakland fried chicken restaurant," 17 Dec. 2020 With that claim pending, Sorvillo filed a second lawsuit seeking to block Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of State John Thurston from taking any steps to formalize Hudson's victory. John Moritz, Arkansas Online, "Judge dismisses Sorvillo's election challenge," 15 Dec. 2020 This may depend in part on how Mr. Trump conducts himself after Dec. 14, when the Electoral College will formalize Mr. Biden’s victory. New York Times, "Republicans Make Clear Their Georgia Senate Strategy: Attack Warnock," 7 Dec. 2020 Some Cuban entrepreneurs, frustrated with the glacial pace of change in a country still far more economically closed than communist peers like Vietnam, say Biden should leverage U.S. clout to help formalize rights for business owners. Washington Post, "Biden wants to re-thaw relations with Cuba. He'll have to navigate Florida politics.," 25 Nov. 2020 President Donald Trump’s path to reversing the election result has nearly closed after all the key battleground states certified their vote totals and took steps to appoint electors ready to formalize Joe Biden’s victory. Mark Niquette,, "Trump Nears ‘Checkmate’ Stage in Last-Gasp Bid to Undo Election," 1 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of formalize

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for formalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of formalize was in 1646

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Statistics for formalize

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Formalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for formalize


How to pronounce formalize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of formalize

: to make (something) formal : to give proper or official form to (something)

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Comments on formalize

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