Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or condition of being formal.
  • noun Rigorous or ceremonious adherence to established forms, rules, or customs.
  • noun An established form, rule, or custom, especially one followed merely for the sake of procedure or decorum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The condition or quality of being formal; specifically, rigid or undue observance of forms or established rules, as in style, conduct, or procedure; especially, the sacrifice of substance or spirit to form; conventionality.
  • noun The result of exclusive attention to the rules of art, without life or spontaneity.
  • noun An established order; a rule of proceeding; a formal mode or method: as, the formalities of judicial process; formalities of law.
  • noun Validity; binding force.
  • noun Customary behavior or dress, or customary ceremony; ceremonial.
  • noun In philosophy, external appearance; formal part.
  • noun In the philosophy of Duns Scotus, a formal element of being; a quidditative ens, or anything belonging thereto except an intrinsic mode.
  • noun The character of the formal in the Kantian sense: universality and necessity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The condition or quality of being formal, strictly ceremonious, precise, etc.
  • noun Form without substance.
  • noun Compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony; conventionality.
  • noun An established order; conventional rule of procedure; usual method; habitual mode.
  • noun obsolete The dress prescribed for any body of men, academical, municipal, or sacerdotal.
  • noun That which is formal; the formal part.
  • noun The quality which makes a thing what it is; essence.
  • noun (Scholastic. Philos.) The manner in which a thing is conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the result of such an act.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The state of being formal.
  • noun Something said or done as a matter of form.
  • noun A customary ritual without new or unique meaning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun compliance with formal rules
  • noun a requirement of etiquette or custom
  • noun a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

formal +‎ -ity

Examples

  • In the end, I was shown that it was not nice at all, to let boorish people break down the formality of the home, because formality is more than just using a fork.

    The Formal Home

  • This isn't so much about hospitality, as about keeping a certain formality and mystique in the home for our own families, so that it is a place of respect and sentiment, rather than some dropping off place like anywhere else.

    The Formal Home

  • Cloaking himself in formality he bowed slightly before addressing Kara in an aside.

    New BSG fiction

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

  • I'm as casual as the next person, usually more, but when formality is the order of the day I easily switch gears.

    Uptight About Usted

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