Meaning of FORMAL in English


Pronunciation: ' fo ̇ r-m ə l

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin formalis, from forma

Date: 14th century

1 a : belonging to or constituting the form or essence of a thing < formal cause> b : relating to or involving the outward form, structure, relationships, or arrangement of elements rather than content < formal logic> <a formal style of painting> <a formal approach to comparative linguistics>

2 a : following or according with established form, custom, or rule <lacked formal schooling> <a formal dinner party> < formal attire> b : done in due or lawful form <a formal contract> <received formal recognition>

3 a : characterized by punctilious respect for form : METHODICAL <very formal in all his dealings> b : rigidly ceremonious : PRIM

4 : having the appearance without the substance < formal Christians who go to church only at Easter>

synonyms see CEREMONIAL

– for · mal · ly \ -m ə -l ē \ adverb

– for · mal · ness noun

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.