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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 ​realimportance: You'll have to ​sign the ​visitors' ​book, but it's just a formality.
formalities [plural]
something that the ​law or an ​officialprocess 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 ​officialoccasions: She ​found the formality of the ​occasionratherdaunting. A ​note of formality in his ​voicealerted 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 ​formalbehavior 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 ​injectingsharecapital into a ​company without going through the formalities of a ​shareissue. 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 ​hiringprocess.
[U] formal writing, ​behaviour, etc. that is suitable in important or ​officialsituations: The ​bank says its ​businessoverdrafts 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

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