Thesaurus

formal

Synonyms and Antonyms of formal

a social gathering for dancing

  • he asked her to the formal at the end of the year
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formal

Synonyms and Antonyms of formal

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
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2 being something in name or form only

  • was the formal head of the charitable organization though he never attended a single meeting
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3 marked by or showing careful attention to set forms and details

  • gave her a formal invitation to dinner
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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
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Synonym Discussion of formal

ceremonial, ceremonious, formal, conventional mean marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms. ceremonial and ceremonious both imply strict attention to what is prescribed by custom or by ritual, but ceremonial applies to things that are associated with ceremonies
    • a ceremonial offering
, ceremonious to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony.
    • made his ceremonious entrance
formal applies both to things prescribed by and to persons obedient to custom and may suggest stiff, restrained, or old-fashioned behavior.
    • a formal report
    • the headmaster's formal manner
conventional implies accord with general custom and usage
    • conventional courtesy
and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence.
    • conventional fiction


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a private place of worship

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