Definitions for: Formal

[adj] refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court; "a courtly gentleman"
[adj] being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress); "pay one's formal respects"; "formal dress"; "a formal ball"; "the requirement was only formal and often ignored"; "a formal education"
[adj] (of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms; "the paper was written in formal English"
[adj] logically deductive; "formal proof"
[adj] characteristic of or befitting a person in authority; "formal duties"; "an official banquet"
[adj] (fine arts) represented in simplified or symbolic form

Webster (1913) Definition: For"mal (f[^o]r"mal), n. [L. formic + alcohol.] (Chem.)
See Methylal.

Form"al (f[^o]rm"al), a. [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.

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. --Shak.

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.

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. --Shak.

Formal cause. See under Cause.

Syn: Precise; punctilious; stiff; starched; affected; ritual;
ceremonial; external; outward.

Usage: 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.

Synonyms: black-tie, buckram, ceremonial, ceremonious, conventional, courtly, dignified, dress, elegant, form-only(a), full-dress, literary, logical, nominal, nonrepresentational, official, perfunctory, positive, prescribed, pro forma, schematic, semiformal, semi-formal, starchy, stately, stiff, titular, white-tie

Antonyms: informal

See Also: formal, rhetorical

Try our:
Scrabble Word Finder

Scrabble Cheat

Words With Friends Cheat

Hanging With Friends Cheat

Scramble With Friends Cheat

Ruzzle Cheat

Related Resources:
animals starting with d
animals beginning with z
u letter animals