Definitions for: Formality


[n] compliance with formal rules
[n] a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies
[n] a requirement of etiquette or custom



Webster (1913) Definition: For*mal"i*ty, n.; pl. Formalities. [Cf. F.
formalit['e].]
1. The condition or quality of being formal, strictly
ceremonious, precise, etc.

2. Form without substance.

Such [books] as are mere pieces of formality, so
that if you look on them, you look though them.
--Fuller.

3. Compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony;
conventionality.

Nor was his attendance on divine offices a matter of
formality and custom, but of conscience.
--Atterbury.

4. An established order; conventional rule of procedure;
usual method; habitual mode.

He was installed with all the usual formalities.
--C.
Middleton.

5. pl. The dress prescribed for any body of men, academical,
municipal, or sacerdotal. [Obs.]

The doctors attending her in their formalities as
far as Shotover. --Fuller.

6. That which is formal; the formal part.

It unties the inward knot of marriage, . . . while
it aims to keep fast the outward formality.
--Milton.

7. The quality which makes a thing what it is; essence.

The material part of the evil came from our father
upon us, but the formality of it, the sting and the
curse, is only by ourselves. --Jer. Taylor.

The formality of the vow lies in the promise made to
God. --Bp.
Stillingfleet.

8. (Scholastic. Philos.) The manner in which a thing is
conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the
result of such an act; as, animality and rationality are
formalities.

Synonyms: formalities, formalness

Antonyms: informality

See Also: abidance, ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremoniousness, ceremony, civility, compliance, conformation, conformity, manner, observance, personal manner, politeness, stateliness

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