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

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English definition of “formal”

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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.
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formal adjective (SERIOUS)

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