Definition of pro forma
- a pro forma balance sheet
- pro forma income
The meeting was strictly pro forma, since the decision had already been made.
A lot of things are done for the sake of appearances. A teacher might get officially observed and evaluated every three years, even though everyone knows she's terrific and the whole thing is strictly pro forma. A critic might say that a orchestral conductor gave a pro forma performance, since his heart wasn't in it. A business owner might make a pro forma appearance at the funeral of a politician's mother, never having met her but maybe hoping for a favor from her son sometime in the future. In business, pro forma has some special meanings; a pro forma invoice, for example, will list all the items being sent but, unlike a true invoice, won't be an actual bill.
First Known Use: 1823See Words from the same year
: done or existing as something that is usual or required but that has little true meaning or importance
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