formal definition, meaning - what is formal in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “formal”

See all translations

formal

adjective uk   /ˈfɔː.məl/  us   /ˈfɔːr-/

formal adjective (OFFICIAL)

C1 public or official: formal procedures a formal announcement in appearance or by name only: I am the formal leader of the project but the everyday management is in the hands of my assistant.
More examples

formal adjective (SERIOUS)

B2 Formal language, clothes, and behaviour are suitable for serious or official occasions: a formal dinner party
More examples

formal adjective (EDUCATION)

C1 Formal education or training is received in a school or college: Tom had little in the way of a formal education.

formal adjective (GARDEN)

A formal garden is carefully designed and kept according to a plan, and it is not allowed to grow naturally.

formal

noun [C] uk   /ˈfɔː.məl/  us   /ˈfɔːr-/
a dance at which women wear fashionable, expensive dresses and men wear tuxedos or similar clothes
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of formal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “formal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

generous

willing to give money, help, kindness, etc., especially more than is usual or expected

Word of the Day

May I sit here? Asking for and giving permission.

by Liz Walter,
June 03, 2015
We often find ourselves in situations where we need to ask for permission or to reply to people who ask us for permission. Here are some words and phrases to help you do this in a natural way. The simplest way to ask for permission is with the modal verb can: Can

Read More 

ebolaphobia noun

June 01, 2015
irrational fear of the (spread of) the Ebola virus Ebolaphobia Going Viral

Read More