What does formality mean?

Definitions for formalityfɔrˈmæl ɪ ti

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word formality.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. formality, formalities(noun)

    a requirement of etiquette or custom

    "a mere formality"

  2. formality, formalness(noun)

    a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies

    "the formality of his voice made the others pay him close attention"

  3. formality(noun)

    compliance with formal rules

    "courtroom formality"


  1. formality(Noun)

    The state of being formal.

  2. formality(Noun)

    Something said or done as a matter of form.

  3. formality(Noun)

    A customary ritual without new or unique meaning.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Formality(noun)

    the condition or quality of being formal, strictly ceremonious, precise, etc

  2. Formality(noun)

    form without substance

  3. Formality(noun)

    compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony; conventionality

  4. Formality(noun)

    an established order; conventional rule of procedure; usual method; habitual mode

  5. Formality(noun)

    the dress prescribed for any body of men, academical, municipal, or sacerdotal

  6. Formality(noun)

    that which is formal; the formal part

  7. Formality(noun)

    the quality which makes a thing what it is; essence

  8. Formality(noun)

    the manner in which a thing is conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the result of such an act; as, animality and rationality are formalities

  9. Origin: [Cf. F. formalit.]


  1. Formality

    Utterances, conceptually similar to a ritual although typically secular and less involved. A formality may be as simple as a handshake upon making new acquaintainces in Western culture to the carefully defined procedure of bows, handshakes, formal greetings, and business-card exchanges that may mark two businessmen being introduced in Japan. In legal and diplomatic circles, formalities include such matters as greeting an arriving head of state with the appropriate national anthem. Cultures and groups within cultures often have varying degrees of formality which can often prove a source of frustration or unintentional insult when people of different expectations or preferences interact. Those from relatively informal backgrounds may find formality to be empty and hypocritical, or unnecessarily demanding. Those from relatively formal backgrounds may find informal cultures hard to deal with, as their carefully refined and nuanced behaviors go completely unnoticed. The difference between formality and politeness is often a point of confusion for those from relatively informal cultures. On the other hand, those who have been brought up in relatively formal circumstances often experience discomfort and even, over the long-term, disenchantment, in less formal circumstances.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of formality in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of formality in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. David Grayson:

    Friendship is neither a formality nor a mode it is rather a life.

  2. Emeasoba George:

    To say that you love someone is so easy, that's why it's now a formality. Whereas, to prove it is not often so easy. Oh! Yes, that's just a reality.

  3. Emeasoba George:

    To say that one loves somebody else is so easy, that's why it's now a formality. Whereas, to prove it is not often so easy. Oh! Yes, that's just a reality.

  4. President Juan Manuel Santos:

    When we finish the agenda points, that is to say, when everything is agreed, that is when we will send the texts to Congress and convene the plebiscite, that moment won't necessarily coincide with the signing of the accords. The signing is a formality, it can be done afterward.

Images & Illustrations of formality

  1. formalityformalityformality

Translations for formality

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