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formality

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noun American English pronunciation: formality /fɔrˈmæləti/ 
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singularformality
pluralformalities
  1. 1
    [countable] [usually plural] something that must be done as part of an official process or that you are expected to do in a social situation

    We went through the usual formalities at customs and passport control.

    the tiresome formalities of a trial

    1. a.
      [countable] something that must be done but that does not have much real meaning or importance

      Normally the vote of the state's presidential electors is a mere formality.

      just a formality:

      The interview is just a formality.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] formal style of writing, behaving, etc.

    Good teachers try to find the right combination of formality and informality in the classroom.

    A degree of formality in dress is expected in this business.

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