formality Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “formality” in the English Dictionary

"formality" in British English

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formalitynoun

uk   /fɔːˈmæl.ə.ti/  us   /fɔːˈmæl.ə.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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"formality" in American English

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formalitynoun

 us   /fɔrˈmæl·ɪ·t̬i/
something done because it follows the usual or accepted way of doing things, although it may not be important: [C] There were only a few legal formalities to be finished, and he would be free to leave the country. [C] It was just a mere formality.
Formality is also formal behavior or appearance.
(Definition of formality from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"formality" in Business English

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formalitynoun

uk   us   /fɔːˈmæləti/ (plural formalities)
[C] something official that must be done before something else can happen or be done: It is essential to observe all the formalities when setting up a business.complete/go through the formalities (of sth) This should be a means of injecting share capital into a company without going through the formalities of a share issue. Approval of the documents is a legal formality.
[C, usually singular] something that must be done but that is unlikely to affect an agreement that has already been made: little more than/only/merely a formality There are still some details to be sorted out, but I believe it's only a formality. Background checks often are a mere formality in the hiring process.
[U] formal writing, behaviour, etc. that is suitable in important or official situations: The bank says its business overdrafts are arranged with a minimum of formality and fuss.
(Definition of formality from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“formality” in British English

“formality” in Business English

A bunch of stuff about plurals
A bunch of stuff about plurals
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