1. [ adjective ] 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"

Related terms: informal ceremonial positive starchy dress semiformal pro_forma form-only full-dress dress white-tie dress black-tie nominal ceremonious conventional formality
2. [ adjective ] characteristic of or befitting a person in authority

"formal duties" "an official banquet"

Related terms: official
3. [ adjective ] (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"

Related terms: informal literary rhetorical formality
4. [ adjective ] logically deductive

"formal proof"

Related terms: logical
5. [ adjective ] (fine arts) represented in simplified or symbolic form
Synonyms: schematic conventional
Related terms: fine_arts nonrepresentational
6. [ adjective ] refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court
Synonyms: elegant stately courtly

"a courtly gentleman"

Related terms: dignified
Similar spelling:   formally