Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

formal - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective formal pronunciation in British English /ˈfɔː(r)m(ə)l/

Related words

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    following the correct or suitable official methods

    They have offered me the job, but I don’t yet have a formal contract.

    We intend to make a formal written complaint.

  2. 2
    correct or conservative in style, and suitable for official or serious situations or occasions

    When we first met, he was a little stiff and formal.

    Business letters do not always have to be impersonal and formal.

    Ameliorate’ is a more formal way of sayingimprove’.

    1. a.
    2. b.
      formal clothes are the special clothes that people wear at formal occasions, usually a black jacket and trousers for men and a long dress for women
  3. 3
    formal education or training is obtained from studying rather than from working at a job

    She’s got a lot of experience but no formal qualifications.

  4. 4
    [usually before noun] relating to the form or structure of something such as a piece of writing, art, or music

    the formal innovations in Mozart’s music

  5. 5
    formal gardens have plants and paths arranged in a set of regular patterns
    Synonyms and related words

derived word

formally

adverb

conlang

… a language for human communication which has been invented and has not developed naturally

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

spogs

spectacles; boiled sweets, candy; soft aniseed-flavoured jelly sweets coated with blue and pink sugar sprinkles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog