Synonyms and Antonyms of formal

  1. a social gathering for dancing he asked her to the formal at the end of the year Synonyms ball, cotillion (also cotillon), dance, hop, promRelated Words blowout, celebration, event, festival, festivity, fete (or fête), gala, masque (also mask), masquerade, mixer, party, reception, shindig, soiree (or soirée); hoedown, square dance



Synonyms and Antonyms of formal

  1. 1 following or agreeing with established form, custom, or rules a formal meeting of the board of directors a formal contract that was legally binding Synonyms ceremonial, ceremonious, conventional, orthodox, regular, routine Related Words authorized, certified, official, sanctioned; accepted, correct, decorous, genteel, nice, polite, proper, respectable, seemly; formalistic, ritual, ritualistic; methodical (also methodic), orderly, systematic Near Antonyms unauthorized, unofficial; graceless, improper, inappropriate, incorrect, indecorous, inept, infelicitous, unapt, unbecoming, unfit, unhappy, unseemly, unsuitable Antonyms casual, freewheeling, informal, irregular, unceremonious, unconventional, unorthodox

  2. 2 being something in name or form only was the formal head of the charitable organization though he never attended a single meeting Synonyms nominal, paper, titularRelated Words so-called; phantom, virtual; apparent, assumed, evident, ostensible, presumed, seeming, supposedNear Antonyms actual, real, true

  3. 3 marked by or showing careful attention to set forms and details gave her a formal invitation to dinner Synonyms correct, decorous, ceremonious, nice, proper, punctilious, starchy, stiff, stiff-necked, stiltedRelated Words sober, solemn, stately; chivalrous, courtly, gallant; genteel, polished, refined; civil, courteous, polite, red-carpetNear Antonyms improper, indecorous, unmannerly; discourteous, impolite, rudeAntonyms casual, easygoing, informal, laid-back, unceremonious

  4. 4 relating to or suitable for wearing to an event requiring elegant dress and manners the dress code is formal for tonight's event a shop that rents out formal wear Synonyms dressy, dressRelated Words costume, costumey; chic, dapper, fashionable, in, modish, natty, sharp, smart, snappy, stylish; custom-made, fitted, tailored; black-tie, evening, white-tie; semiformalNear Antonyms street; dowdy, outmoded, styleless, unfashionable, unstylish; frowsy (or frowzy), grungy, sloppy, sloven, slovenly, unkempt, untidy; disheveled (or dishevelled), messy, mussy, rumpled, wrinkledAntonyms casual, informal, sportif, sporty

  5. 5 very dignified in form, tone, or style the formal language of the coronation ceremony Synonyms eloquent, elevated, high-flown, lofty, majestic, stately, toweringRelated Words affected, bombastic, declamatory, florid, flowery, grandiloquent, grandiose, highfalutin (also hifalutin), oratorical, pompous, pretentious, rhetorical (also rhetoric), stilted; Attic, cultured, refined; classy, courtly, fine, graceful, tasteful; aristocratic, genteel, patrician; correct, educated, grammatical, proper; academic (also academical), bookish, learned, literaryNear Antonyms casual, colloquial, conversational, informal, nonformal, slangy, unbookish, unliterary, vernacular; coarse, common, crass, crude, gross, ill-bred, indecent, lowbred, lowbrow, rough, rough-hewn, rude, tasteless, uncouth, uncultivated, uncultured, unpolished, unrefined, vulgar; incorrect, substandard, uneducated, ungrammatical, unlearnedAntonyms ineloquent, low, undignified

Learn More about formal

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up formal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.