Dictionary.net

Definitions of formal

  1. refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court; " a courtly gentleman"
  2. being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements ( as e. g. of formal dress); " pay one's formal respects"; " formal dress"; " a formal ball"; " the requirement was only formal and often ignored"; " a formal education"
  3. ( of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms; " the paper was written in formal English"
  4. logically deductive; " formal proof"
  5. characteristic of or befitting a person in authority; " formal duties"; " an official banquet"
  6. represented in simplified or symbolic form
  7. See Methylal.
  8. Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing.
  9. Belonging to the constitution of a thing, as distinguished from the matter composing it; having the power of making a thing what it is; constituent; essential; pertaining to or depending on the forms, so called, of the human intellect.
  10. Done in due form, or with solemnity; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular; express; as, he gave his formal consent.
  11. Devoted to, or done in accordance with, forms or rules; punctilious; regular; orderly; methodical; of a prescribed form; exact; prim; stiff; ceremonious; as, a man formal in his dress, his gait, his conversation.
  12. Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; as, formal duty; formal worship; formal courtesy, etc.
  13. Dependent in form; conventional.
  14. Sound; normal.
  15. According to custom or established rules; precise; ceremonious; conventional; essential; having the outward shape without the inward reality.
  16. Formally.
  17. According to form or established mode: ceremonious: methodical: having the form only: having the power of making a thing what it is: essential: proper.
  18. According with established forms; ceremonial; ceremonious.
  19. Pertaining to form as opposed to substance; outward; external.
  20. According to form or established mode; methodical; strictly ceremonious: exact to affectation; done in due form; having the form without the substance; depending on customary forms; having the power of making a thing what it is; essential; proper.
  21. Strictly ceremonious; done in due form; according to regular method; having the form or appearance without the substance or essence.
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Usage examples for formal

  1. " We may appear to you a little formal," Miss Isabel began, and turned to her sister. – The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith by George Meredith
  2. This was done, and a formal and affectionate farewell was then read to him by his secretary, Mr. Atye. – History of the United Netherlands, 1586-89, Vol. II. Complete by John Lothrop Motley Last Updated: February 7, 2009
  3. Avoid in formal writing and speaking. – The Century Handbook of Writing by Garland Greever Easley S. Jones
  4. But, formal as he was, there was a smile in his eyes. – The Boy Scout Aviators by George Durston
  5. There was also a somewhat formal meal directly after the marriage ceremony. – Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before by George Turner
  6. It was not a formal siege. – Project Gutenberg History of The Netherlands, 1555-1623, Complete by John Lothrop Motley
  7. It was evening, and the electric light and the formal dress of most of the guests added to the impression. – The Professor's Mystery by Wells Hastings Brian Hooker
  8. Do you not find it very stiff and formal? – Donal Grant by George MacDonald
  9. " But I've always known Dorothy-" " That makes no difference," the assistant said, and she presented them in formal manner. – Dorothy Dainty at Glenmore by Amy Brooks
  10. I left them together after dinner and when the time came for saying good- night I found that the Archdeacon had been persuaded not to attempt a formal protest against Miss Pettigrew's teaching. – Lalage's Lovers 1911 by George A. Birmingham
  11. He said, " Of course I mean it, and as soon as I return to Paris I will have the formal papers made out and sent to you, and you can claim the ground when you like." – In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. by L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone
  12. But it is always more formal up there- they remember that I have money. – The Trumpeter Swan by Temple Bailey
  13. Let me first of all make a formal announcement. – The Emancipated by George Gissing
  14. Miss Gibson's visit- but why should I speak of her in these formal terms? – The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman
  15. The talk at dinner was rather formal. – The Crown of Life by George Gissing
  16. Mostly formal calls occasioned by the happy return of His Highness. – Master Olof A Drama in Five Acts by August Strindberg
  17. But I fancy there would have been no formal opposition to the lecture, if Dempster had not planned it. – Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
  18. It was a stiff, formal sort of dance with little body movement. – The Golden Skull by John Blaine
  19. He had made his formal proposal for Arethusa's hand to Arethusa herself, as they sat side by side on the top step of the worn stone steps to the front porch. – The Heart of Arethusa by Francis Barton Fox
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