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 formalizable (audio) \ adjective
formalization \ ˌfȯr-​mə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce formalization (audio) \ noun
formalizer \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce formalizer (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 The members of New York’s reform coalition managed to avoid some of California’s pitfalls—but the New York law that finally emerged formalized some troubling compromises of its own. Nick Pinto, The New Republic, "Criminal justice reformers are rethinking the crusade against cash bail.," 6 Apr. 2020 If there’s not a lot of pushback, the NFL will formalize the rule, and take it to the clinic to work with the officials in July. Albert Breer,, "NFL Officials Still Aren’t Sure How the New Pass Interference Replay Rule Will Work," 20 June 2019 The consent decree formalized in 2016 included a stream of more than $8 billion to be steered by trustees of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). al, "10 years after Deepwater Horizon disaster: Along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, questions, and work, go on," 19 Apr. 2020 And without more formalized guidance in place, some companies—even those with the best intentions—are sending mixed messages, qualifying their masks as nonsurgical while still donating them only to medical personnel. Tony Chambers, Fortune, "Consortiums and collaborations: Design companies team up to fight the coronavirus," 31 Mar. 2020 For owners who are flummoxed even after spending time with their new purchase, there are follow-up sessions available, formalized in the BMW world as the Encore Program. Norman Mayersohn, New York Times, "How to Set Up Your New Car," 27 Feb. 2020 The council will likely approve this as an ordinance and may also send it to voters in November to formalize in the city's charter. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Mesa's unusual — but longstanding — way of spending utility money could go to voters," 10 Feb. 2020 This formalizes an arrangement that some tribes used in the 2018 midterms, when a federal court allowed the voter ID law to take effect less than two months before Election Day. Maggie Astor, New York Times, "North Dakota Tribes Score Key Voting Rights Victory," 13 Feb. 2020 The endorsement formalizes a partnership that could help Warren reignite excitement at a critical moment., "Castro throws his support behind Warren, set to campaign this week," 6 Jan. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Formalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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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