for·mal·ize | \ ˈfȯr-mə-ˌlīz \
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 \ adjective
formalization \ˌfȯr-mə-lə-ˈzā-shən \ noun
formalizer \ˈfȯr-mə-ˌlī-zər \ 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

On Tuesday, the school board also approved a policy formalizing the requirements of the state law. Deborah Sullivan Brennan,, "State law confirms protections for immigrant students," 30 June 2018 Unfortunately, both formalized modes of play are inherently limited. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "DropMix review: Unleash your inner DJ," 26 May 2018 The Senate only received paperwork from the Trump administration formalizing Jackson's nomination last week. Author: Nicholas Fandos, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s pick for Veterans Affairs accused of overseeing hostile workplace, overprescribing drugs and drinking on the job," 24 Apr. 2018 In the late 18th and early 19th century, Baber formalized her progressive teaching methods and activist approach to geography that would set her apart from other contemporary geographers. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Woman Who Transformed How We Teach Geography," 18 Jan. 2018 The move formalizes a job that Mr. Shine has been in since earlier this week, according to White House officials. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "Bill Shine, Ousted From Fox News in Scandal, Joins White House Communications Team," 5 July 2018 The company said the new policy formalizes a practice that was already in place. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Amazon drops resistance to proposal requiring it interview women, blacks, Hispanics for board," 14 May 2018 That leaves two assistant coach slots to be filled for Riley's initial USA staff, a process expected to be formalized in the next two weeks. Creg Stephenson,, "South Alabama basketball coach Richie Riley on staff, recruiting, Auburn series & Final Four dreams," 12 Apr. 2018 Informal celebrations date to the mid-1800s, and the holiday was established by a proclamation from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and formalized by an Act of Congress in 1949. Caroline Simon, USA TODAY, "How Americans are celebrating Flag Day — when the flag itself is more political than ever," 14 June 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

13 Sep 2018

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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