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Definition of “formal” - English Dictionary

"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 social occasion is formal, you wear traditional or very good clothes: It was a formal affair, and men were supposed to wear dark suits 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 ordinary conversation.
Formal education/training is the learning of a subject or skill from courses in a school: His formal education ended at the sixth grade, but he became a millionaire at the age of thirty.

formalnoun [C]

us   /ˈfɔr·məl/
a dance at which women wear fashionable, expensive dresses and men wear tuxedos or similar clothes
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"formal" in British English

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formaladjective

uk   /ˈfɔː.məl/ us   /ˈfɔːr.məl/
  • formal adjective (SERIOUS)

B2 Formal language, clothes, and behaviour are suitable for serious or official occasions: a formal dinner party

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  • formal adjective (GARDEN)

A formal garden is carefully designed and kept according to a plan, and it is not allowed to grow naturally.

formalnoun [C]

uk   /ˈfɔː.məl/ us   /ˈfɔːr.məl/
a dance at which women wear fashionable, expensive dresses and men wear tuxedos or similar clothes
(Definition of formal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"formal" in Business English

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formaladjective

uk   /ˈfɔːməl/ us  
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
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

More meanings of “formal”

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Watching the detectorists
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by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

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