formal Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “formal” in the English Dictionary

"formal" in British English

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formaladjective

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 ​everydaymanagement 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 ​officialoccasions: a formal ​dinnerparty
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formal adjective (EDUCATION)

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

formal adjective (GARDEN)

A formal ​garden is ​carefullydesigned and ​keptaccording to a ​plan, and it is not ​allowed to ​grownaturally.

formalnoun [C]

uk   /ˈfɔː.məl/  us   /ˈfɔːr-/
a ​dance at which women ​wearfashionable, ​expensivedresses and men ​wear tuxedos or ​similarclothes
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"formal" in American English

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formaladjective

 us   /ˈfɔr·məl/
using an ​agreed and often ​official or ​traditional way of doing things: There are formal ​procedures for ​applying to ​become a US ​citizen. If a ​socialoccasion is formal, you ​weartraditional or very good ​clothes: It was a formal ​affair, and men were ​supposed to ​weardarksuits or ​tuxedos. Formal ​language is the ​language used esp. in writing in ​situations that are ​official and which is often more ​difficult than the ​language used in ​ordinaryconversation. Formal ​education/​training is the ​learning of a ​subject or ​skill from ​courses in a ​school: His formal ​educationended at the sixth ​grade, but he ​became a ​millionaire at the ​age of thirty.

formalnoun [C]

 us   /ˈfɔr·məl/
a ​dance at which women ​wearfashionable, ​expensivedresses and men ​wear tuxedos or ​similarclothes
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"formal" in Business English

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formaladjective

uk   us   /ˈfɔːməl/
stated or ​agreed in writing: a formal agreement/contract/offer They are ​required to make a ​binding formal ​offer and then ​publish an ​offerdocument within 28 days.
done ​publicly or ​officially: a formal announcement/discussion/investigation The two ​companies began formal discussions to renegotiate the $2.8 ​billionpowerproject.
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 ​officiallyrecognized, ​paytaxes, etc.: In Mexico ​small and medium-sized ​enterprisesgenerate six out of ten ​jobs in the formal ​sector.
formally
adverb
The ​bid for the ​company could be formally ​accepted early next week.
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“formal” in Business English

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