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

Waters’s letter today, sent to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, and Calibra CEO David Marcus, formalizes that request from a few weeks ago. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A conservative audit of Facebook’s speech policies is running behind schedule," 3 July 2019 The alliance earlier this year called on the university to formalize an ethnic studies program following the departure of two tenure-track faculty members who specialized in Asian American studies. NBC News, "After 50 years, Asian American studies programs can still be hard to find," 27 June 2019 Disqualifications and other rulings by the Election Commission ahead of May 9, when it is supposed to formalize the election results, may also affect how the new government is formed. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Seattle Times, "Thai Election Commission blames software for counting errors," 29 Mar. 2019 Eventually, once his draft-night trade is formalized, second-round pick KZ Okpala, the forward out of Stanford taken at No. Ira Winderman,, "Heat hoping Robinson, Maten graduate to next level from summer school," 30 June 2019 And though third-party service regulation hasn’t yet been formalized by the FDA, Wang observes that third-party servicers, including hospitals, are already under a significant amount of pressure to perform. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Hackers, farmers, and doctors unite! Support for Right to Repair laws slowly grows," 20 June 2019 In Western European countries, where party membership is often formalized — party members pay dues and receive formal party benefits — partisan voters are also on the decline. Didi Kuo, Vox, "Challenges to parties in the United States and beyond," 20 June 2019 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

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

16 Aug 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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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