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

Other Words from formalize

formalizable \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce formalize (audio) \ adjective
formalization \ ˌfȯr-​mə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce formalize (audio) \ noun
formalizer \ ˈfȯr-​mə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce formalize (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 Micajah Jackson has agreed to a plea deal with the Justice Department and will formalize the guilty plea at a court hearing on November 22, his defense attorney Maria Jacob told CNN. Marshall Cohen And Em Steck, CNN, 27 Oct. 2021 Common mistakes include not considering the tax implications of a sale, designating an improper trigger event, failure to formalize the plan into a legally binding contract and failure to update the plan over time as the business changes. Jamie Hopkins, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Embracing flexible hours, flexible schedules and flexible vacations will formalize this philosophy. Greg Smith, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Many speakers shared concerns about that delay and said county leaders should push to formalize the new climate plan sooner. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Oct. 2021 Plans to return to the workplace, or at least formalize hybrid structures, are very much up in the air for many businesses. John Morgan, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 To further and formalize its mission of building a statewide reach, the organization is changing its name to the Women’s Foundation of Alabama. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 16 Oct. 2021 In 1927, A’Lelia attempted to formalize her functions by establishing a membership club called the Dark Tower. Mayukh Sen, Bon Appétit, 14 Oct. 2021 The House approves a resolution to formalize the procedures of the impeachment inquiry against Trump. CNN, 27 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of formalize

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About formalize

Time Traveler for formalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of formalize was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near formalize



formal logic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for formalize

Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Formalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for formalize



English Language Learners Definition of formalize

: to make (something) formal : to give proper or official form to (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on formalize

Nglish: Translation of formalize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of formalize for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!