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

Just seven years before Du Bois arrived, Bismarck had organized the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 and formalized Europe’s scramble for Africa. Washington Post, "The Germany of 1892 was liberating for W.E.B. Du Bois. Many minorities don’t feel that today.," 9 Sep. 2019 The project funds were approved by the State Bond Commission subject to various approvals, including a deal being signed and formalized between the city and a professional sports franchise. Jon Lender,, "Jon Lender: From auditors’ criticism to a $45,000 fine for election law violations, Dillon project keeps spawning problems," 23 Aug. 2019 Aided by digital technologies, the census results can be useful to allocate resources and formalize much more of the country’s economy. Youyou Zhou, Quartz Africa, "Ghana is betting on a digital census in 2020 to transform its informal economy," 18 June 2019 Brett Brown pulled Robert Covington aside and formalized a decision that had been a couple of days in the making. David Murphy,, "Robert Covington had an all-star performance of a different kind in Game 4 | David Murphy," 8 May 2018 Ikea Ikea is formalizing what has recently become all too obvious: the company is making a major bet on smart home tech as a source of new revenue. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "Ikea goes all in on smart home tech," 17 Aug. 2019 New York joined the initial conversation surrounding the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) but was not among the member states that committed to formalizing a plan last year (Climatewire, Dec. 20, 2018). Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "New York Has a Climate Plan—Now It Has to Follow Through," 29 July 2019 Removing those barriers will let people speak freely about their use of psychedelics and help the community as a whole develop more formalized guidelines on best practices, say advocates for decriminalization. Erin Allday,, "Can psychedelics heal? A growing movement says yes," 28 June 2019 This relationship can be formalized mathematically. Quanta Magazine, "Lizard Stowaways Revise Principle of Ecology," 24 Sep. 2014

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

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for formalize

The first known use of formalize was in 1646

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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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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