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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pro forma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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