Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Formal

Form′al

(fôrm′al)
,
Adj.
[L.
formalis
: cf. F.
formel
.]
1.
Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing.
2.
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.
Of [the sounds represented by] letters, the material part is breath and voice; the
formal
is constituted by the motion and figure of the organs of speech.
Holder.
3.
Done in due form, or with solemnity; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular; express;
as, he gave his
formal
consent
.
His obscure funeral . . .
No noble rite nor
formal
ostentation.
Shakespeare
4.
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
.
A cold-looking,
formal
garden, cut into angles and rhomboids.
W. Irwing.
She took off the
formal
cap that confined her hair.
Hawthorne.
5.
Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external;
as,
formal
duty;
formal
worship;
formal
courtesy, etc.
6.
Dependent in form; conventional.
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains,
Or bound in
formal
or in real chains.
Pope.
7.
Sound; normal.
[Obs.]
To make of him a
formal
man again.
Shakespeare
Syn. – Precise; punctilious; stiff; starched; affected; ritual; ceremonial; external; outward.
Formal
,
Ceremonious
. When applied to things, these words usually denote a mere accordance with the rules of form or ceremony; as, to make a formal call; to take a ceremonious leave. When applied to a person or his manners, they are used in a bad sense; a person being called formal who shapes himself too much by some pattern or set form, and ceremonious when he lays too much stress on the conventional laws of social intercourse. Formal manners render a man stiff or ridiculous; a ceremonious carriage puts a stop to the ease and freedom of social intercourse.

Webster 1828 Edition


Formal

FORM'AL

,
Adj.
1.
According to form; agreeable to established mode; regular; methodical.
2.
Strictly ceremonious; precise; exact to affectation; as a man formal in his dress, his gait or deportment.
3.
Done in due form, or with solemnity; express; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular. He gave his formal consent to the treaty.
4.
Regular; methodical; as the formal stars.
5.
Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; as formal duty; formal worship.
6.
Depending on customary forms.
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains, or bound in formal or in real chains.
7.
Having the power of making a thing what it is; constituent; essential.
Of letters the material part is breath and voice; the formal is constituted by the motions and figure of the organs of speech.
8.
Retaining its proper and essential characteristic; regular; proper.
To make of him a formal man again.

Definition 2021


formal

formal

See also: formál and formål

English

Adjective

formal (comparative more formal, superlative most formal)

  1. Being in accord with established forms.
    She spoke formal English, without any dialect.
  2. Official.
    I'd like to make a formal complaint.
  3. Relating to the form or structure of something.
    Formal linguistics ignores the vocabulary of languages and focuses solely on their grammar.
    • 1978, Heikki Seppä, Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths, [Kent, Oh.]: Kent State University Press, ISBN 978-0-87338-212-0, page 1:
      THE THREE DOMINANT FORMS IN METALSMITHING [] At present, there are but three basic volumetric forms dominating the work of metalsmiths, the spherical (usually in its most practical form, the domical), the cylindrical, and the cubical. [] The possibilities for further variations on them are all but exhausted, there being little chance to express new and unusual ideas within the framework of such limited choices. As a result, much of twentieth-century metalsmithing has relied on surface enrichment rather than formal development for its originality.
  4. Relating to formation.
    The formal stage is a critical part of any child's development.
  5. Ceremonial or traditional.
    Formal wear must be worn at my wedding!
  6. Proper, according to strict etiquette; not casual.
    He's always very formal, and I wish he'd relax a bit.
  7. Organized; well-structured and planned.
    When they became a formal club the rowers built a small boathouse.
  8. (mathematics) Relating to mere manipulation and construction of strings of symbols, without regard to their meaning.
    Formal series are defined without any reference to convergence.

Antonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

formal (plural formals)

  1. Formalin.
  2. An evening gown.
  3. An event with a formal dress code.
    Jenny took Sam to her Year 12 formal.

Translations

External links

  • formal in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • formal in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Catalan

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin formalis.

Adjective

formal m, f (masculine and feminine plural formals)

  1. formal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links


Crimean Tatar

Etymology

Latin formalis, from forma (form).

Adjective

formal

  1. formal

References

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary], Simferopol: Dolya, ISBN 966-7980-89-8

Galician

Adjective

formal m, f (plural formais)

  1. formal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links


German

Etymology

Form + -al

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /fɔʁˈmaːl/
  • Rhymes: -aːl

Adjective

formal (comparative formaler, superlative am formalsten)

  1. formal (being in accord with established forms)

Declension

Usage notes

Not to be confused with formell. The adjectives formell and informell express the presence or absence of ceremonies: ein informelles Treffen is a meeting in a near-private context. The adjective formal stresses the outward appearance (pro forma) as opposed to the content or the spirit.


Portuguese

Adjective

formal m, f (plural formais, comparable)

  1. formal (being in accord with established forms)
  2. formal (official)
  3. formal (relating to the form or structure of something)
  4. formal (ceremonial)
  5. (logic) formal (involving mere manipulations of symbols)

External links

  • formal in Dicionário Aberto based on Novo Diccionário da Língua Portuguesa de Cândido de Figueiredo, 1913

Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from French formel < Latin formalis.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /forˈmal/

Adjective

formal m, n (feminine singular formală, masculine plural formali, feminine and neuter plural formale)

  1. formal

Spanish

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin formalis.

Adjective

formal m, f (plural formales)

  1. formal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links