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 Certification of county results is a necessary step in the process to formalize final vote tallies in Michigan elections. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Trump withdraws federal lawsuit in Michigan, citing Wayne County canvasser affidavits," 20 Nov. 2020 Certification of county results is a necessary step in the process to formalize final vote tallies in Michigan elections. Sean Rossman, USA TODAY, "Election 2020 live updates: Georgia to release recount results; Trump withdraws Michigan lawsuit," 19 Nov. 2020 The move would be an important step as a means to formalize transactions in dollars in Venezuela’s banking system, the people said, declining to be named since the proposal hasn’t been made public. Nicolle Yapur,, "Venezuela to Discuss Dollarization Plan With Local Banks," 16 Nov. 2020 The Parish Council will formalize all plans on Dec. 9. Arthur Hardy,, "Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy: Captains call these rules 'deal breakers'; announcements loom," 16 Nov. 2020 After the season ended, Naggar met with Texas head coach Tom Herman to formalize his plan to enter the transfer portal. Dallas News, "From Arlington to Austin to Dallas: How Shane Buechele, Chris Naggar traveled similar paths to SMU stardom," 21 Oct. 2020 Now, in an effort to formalize those conversations and facilitate meaningful change amid the Black Lives Matter movement, several of those trustees have banded together to form the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "Black Trustees Join Forces to Make Art Museums More Diverse," 9 Oct. 2020 But behind the scenes, both leaders are under pressure by coworkers and staffers to formalize safety protocol. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "It’s October, COVID-19 is sweeping through Congress, and there is still no formal testing protocol in place," 5 Oct. 2020 Until the two sides formalize their relationship with a long-term deal — something that can’t happen until the season is done — questions remain. David Moore, Dallas News, "Ongoing debate surrounding Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is about more than his performance on the field," 29 Sep. 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 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Formalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 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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