Meaning of FORMAL in English

[for.mal] adj [ME, fr. MF or L; MF, fr. L formalis, fr. forma] (14c) 1 a: belonging to or constituting the form or essence of a thing "~ cause" b: relating to or involving the outward form, structure, relationships, or arrangement of elements rather than content "~ logic" "~ style of painting" "~ approach to comparative linguistics"

2. a: following or according with established form, custom, or rule "lacked ~ schooling" "a ~ dinner party" "~ attire" b: done in due or lawful form "a ~ contract" "received ~ recognition" 3 a: characterized by punctilious respect for form: methodical "very ~ in all his dealings" b: rigidly ceremonious: prim

4: having the appearance without the substance "~ Christians who go to church only at Easter" syn see ceremonial -- adv -- for.mal.ness n

[2]formal n (1605): something (as a dance or a dress) formal in character [3]formal adj [formula + [1]-al] (ca. 1934): [3]molar

Merriam-Webster English vocab.      Английский словарь Merriam Webster.