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English definition of “formality”

formality

noun uk   /fɔːˈmæl.ə.ti/ us    /-t̬i/

formality noun (ACTION)

[C] something that has to be done but has no real importance: You'll have to sign the visitors' book, but it's just a formality. formalities [plural] something that the law or an official process says must be done: We'll have to observe the formalities (= do what is expected).

formality noun (SERIOUSNESS)

[U] the quality of being suitable for serious or official occasions: She found the formality of the occasion rather daunting. A note of formality in his voice alerted her to the fact that others were listening.
(Definition of formality from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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