Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “formality”

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of formality?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “formality” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More