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formal - definition and synonyms


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

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  1. 1
    following the correct or suitable official methods
    The government is promising a formal investigation.
    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 saying ‘improve’.
  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

derived word




a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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