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Definition of "formalist" [form•al•ist]

  • An overly formal person, especially one who adheres to current forms; a stickler (noun)
  • An advocate of formalism (noun)
  • Of or pertaining to formalism; formalistic (adjective) : Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Use "formalist" in a sentence
  • "It might for someone like me, or like Justice White (both of us are strongly legal realist in our orientation, as you may have guessed) but the point of being a formalist is that if you don't play by the rules, you don't get the result you are seeking."
  • "News at Eleven: Richard Wilbur is regarded, not always to his liking, as a leading "formalist"--"formal" can be found near "formaldehyde" in the dictionary, he jokes--a master of traditional, tempered verse that can seem old-fashioned in more radical times."
  • "Frankenthaler's works were true to this so-called formalist aesthetic."