from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Relating to or involving outward form or structure.
- adj. Being or relating to essential form or constitution: a formal principle.
- adj. Following or being in accord with accepted forms, conventions, or regulations: had little formal education; went to a formal party.
- adj. Executed, carried out, or done in proper or regular form: a formal reprimand; a formal document.
- adj. Characterized by strict or meticulous observation of forms; methodical: very formal in their business transactions.
- adj. Stiffly ceremonious: a formal manner; a formal greeting; a formal bow to the monarch.
- adj. Having the outward appearance but lacking in substance: a formal requirement that is usually ignored.
- n. Something, such as a gown or social affair, that is formal in nature.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. being in accord with established forms
- adj. official
- adj. relating to the form or structure of something
- adj. ceremonial
- adj. organized; well-structured and planned
- n. formalin
- n. an evening gown
- n. an event with a formal dress code
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. See methylal.
- adj. Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing.
- adj. 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.
- adj. Done in due form, or with solemnity; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular; express.
- adj. Devoted to, or done in accordance with, forms or rules; punctilious; regular; orderly; methodical; of a prescribed form; exact; prim; stiff; ceremonious.
- adj. Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external
- adj. Dependent in form; conventional.
- adj. Sound; normal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- According to form, rule, or established order; according to the rules of law or custom; systematic; regular; legal.
- Characterized by or made or done in strict or undue conformity to legal or conventional rules; notably conventional.
- Observing or requiring strict observance of the rules of law, custom, or etiquette; strictly ceremonious; precise: exact to affectation; punctilious.
- Regular or methodical in action.
- Having conformity with the rules of art; scholastic; theoretical; also, rhetorical; academical; expressed in artificial language.
- Relating to form merely, not to the substance or matter; having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; outward: as, a formal defect; formal duty; formal worship.
- Embodied in a form; personified. The allusion in the extract is to the character of the Vice who, under many aliases, was an attendant on the Devil in the old moralities. See iniquity and vice.
- Pertaining to or regarding the shape and appearance of a living being; characteristic; proper; sane.
- Pertaining to form, in sense 8, especially in the Aristotelian use, opposed to materiȧl; essential; express. See phrases below.
- Pertaining to those elements of cognition which according to Kant have their origin in the nature of the mind itself; universal and necessary.
- Implicit; not active; latent; virtual.
- n. A trade-name for formaldehyde.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. characteristic of or befitting a person in authority
- adj. logically deductive
- n. a gown for evening wear
- adj. represented in simplified or symbolic form
- n. a lavish dance requiring formal attire
- adj. (of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms
- adj. being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)
- adj. refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court
Middle English, from Latin fōrmālis, from fōrma, shape.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English formel, from Old French formel, from Latin formalis, from forma ("form"); see form. (Wiktionary)