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

What if that system could be formalized and digitized, even if the neighbors don’t necessarily know each other, Ballard wondered? Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "“Time Banking” Is Catching On In the Digital World," 25 June 2018 But some prominent voices in the media and medical professions want to go one step further, pressing for standardized rules — something akin to a journalistic Hippocratic Oath — that can be formalized in newsrooms across the country. NBC News, "News coverage of high-profile suicides sparks debate about journalism ethics," 9 June 2018 Richman's employment was formalized through a memorandum of understanding. Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne, Fox News, "Comey memos likely shared with former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, sources say," 25 Apr. 2018 Cohn's resignation as director of the National Economic Council, a powerful agency with broad oversight over White House policy, suggests that Trump's plans to levy 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum will be formalized shortly. Sabra Ayres,, "Putin says Trump is balanced, but U.S. political system 'eating itself up'," 7 Mar. 2018 Because of that experience and all the moments like it, the image presenting my authentic self to the world (which too often calls for conformity or making myself small) took decades to formalize fully in my mind, much less to say aloud. Cameron Glover, Allure, "On Janelle Monáe and the Power of Representation for Queer Black Girls," 21 June 2018 The Chinese were the first to get their kicks by kicking balls into nets for sport in the third century B.C., and the game known globally as football was formalized in England in the 19th century. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Where Did Soccer Start? Archaeology Weighs In.," 15 June 2018 Her focus all along has been children and this launch is meant to formalize what her role will be for the next three to seven years,' said Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s spokeswoman. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Rudy Giuliani is repeating seven mistakes that brought down previous Trump advisers," 7 May 2018 Villages formalize those ideas by recruiting a pool of neighborhood volunteers, and then connecting them with older village members who need help. Joanna Connors,, "Who will shovel mom's walk? 'Virtual villages' help seniors stay independent: Living On," 15 Apr. 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

8 Nov 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).


by force of circumstances

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