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
 
 
/ˈfɔːməl/
stated or agreed in writing: a formal agreement/contract/offer They are required to make a binding formal offer and then publish an offer document within 28 days.
done publicly or officially: a formal announcement/discussion/investigation The two companies began formal discussions to renegotiate the $2.8 billion power project.
used to describe clothing that is suitable for important or official occasions: Please note that formal dress is not required at the dinner.
used to describe education or training that is received in a school or college: Lacking formal education, he worked as a sharecropper and journeyman laborer to support his family.
ECONOMICS used to describe businesses that are officially recognized, pay taxes, etc.: In Mexico small and medium-sized enterprises generate six out of ten jobs in the formal sector.
formally adverb
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of formal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More Business English definitions for “formal”

Definitions of “formal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

escapism

a way of avoiding an unpleasant or boring life, especially by thinking, reading, etc. about more exciting but impossible activities

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More