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Definition of "formal" []

  • Relating to or involving outward form or structure. (adjective)
  • Being or relating to essential form or constitution: a formal principle. (adjective)
  • Following or being in accord with accepted forms, conventions, or regulations: had little formal education; went to a formal party. (adjective)
  • Executed, carried out, or done in proper or regular form: a formal reprimand; a formal document. (adjective)
  • Characterized by strict or meticulous observation of forms; methodical: very formal in their business transactions. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "formal" in a sentence
  • "As a formal theory (in Husserl's sense of ˜formal™, i.e., as opposed to ˜material™) mereology is simply an attempt to lay down the general principles underlying the relationships between an entity and its constituent parts, whatever the nature of the entity, just as set theory is an attempt to lay down the principles underlying the relationships between a set and its members."
  • "In this book, the term formal thought disorder is used to refer to the aphasialike utterances of patients."
  • "But so keen for symmetry, for all the term formal beauty implies, is Chopin, that seldom does his morbidity madden, his voluptuousness poison."