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

According to the investigative report, Worrall proposed an agreement in 2015 to formalize part of a credit transfer arrangement. Dallas News, "UT Dallas tribunal: Class credit arrangement ‘improper’ but professors should keep their jobs," 9 July 2019 The name change was formalized in April in New Jersey’s Cumberland County Superior Court, documents say. Kevin Grasha,, "Green Township man imprisoned for terror plot legally assumes new name," 8 July 2019 Members also agreed in principle to formalize a charter for cooperation with non-member producers such as Russia despite objections from Iran. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "More US tariffs; OPEC deal; Year's biggest IPO," 2 July 2019 Italian government-bond yields shot higher when the country’s election in March produced an unexpected governing coalition by two populist parties, formalized in June. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Few Warning Signs on Sovereign Debt," 30 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Fox also must fend off a higher competing bid from Comcast Corp., which in April formalized a $30.7-billion offer for Sky. Ryan Faughnder,, "Sky News funding will increase under Disney ownership, British culture secretary says," 19 June 2018 First the divorce gets sorted out and formalized in the withdrawal treaty. Emma Ross-thomas,, "Brexit Bulletin: Blair and the Abyss," 26 Mar. 2018 The powers were legally formalized in 2003, but have never been tested since then. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "EU Orders Broadcom to Halt Allegedly Anticompetitive Practices," 26 June 2019 The search for this essence occupied first philosophers and then psychologists, who formalized the philosophical ideas and translated them into concepts that could be tested. Giovanni Sabato, Scientific American, "What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh," 26 June 2019

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

19 Jul 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).


something desired as essential

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