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

But at least 60 cities and counties have formalized programs that facilitate it, especially for seniors, according to federal estimates., "Lawmakers back rental tax break in last day of Legislature. Why are they behind a Portland developer’s idea?," 15 June 2019 In exchange for these derogations of Palestinian rights, the Palestinians are to be offered money, collected from the Gulf monarchies, an offer that is presumably to be formalized at a conference in late June in Bahrain. Rashid Khalidi, The New York Review of Books, "The Neocolonial Arrogance of the Kushner Plan," 12 June 2019 In 2018, Huron’s new Green Raiteros rural ride-sharing program formalized her efforts. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 The decision is likely to be formalized at the ECB’s next policy meeting on Dec. 13. Tom Fairless, WSJ, "ECB’s Draghi: QE Program to End in December, Despite Weak Data," 26 Nov. 2018 In mid-August, its board agreed to a 12.98 billion Australian dollar (US$9.24 billion) formalized bid from the consortium. Robb M. Stewart, WSJ, "Australia Antitrust Regulator Clears $9 Billion Bid for Pipeline Company," 11 Sep. 2018 The company’s agreement with NASA to tackle a design was formalized in January. Richard Tribou,, "Sierra Nevada Corp. releases video for Lunar Orbital Platform concept," 18 May 2018 Alternately, a high-gloss ceiling could formalize a space, Reich said. Kristina Orrego, The Seattle Times, "Move over statement walls, ceilings are the hot new focal point," 12 Feb. 2019 And some change was indeed accomplished: At the National Women’s Conference, in 1977, thousands of women gathered in Houston to formalize a plan for realizing women’s liberation to be presented to the White House and Congress. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Uzo Aduba, Katie Holmes & Ieshia Evans Reenact Iconic Images of Social Change," 20 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for formalize

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for formalize

The first known use of formalize was in 1646

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More Definitions for formalize



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

What made you want to look up formalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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