formal - definition and synonyms


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  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.
      a formal event or social occasion is an important or official one at which people wear special clothes

      The Queen will be the host at a formal dinner tonight.

    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

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