- strict adherence to, or observance of, prescribed or traditional forms, as in music, poetry, and art.
- Religion. strong attachment to external forms and observances.
- Ethics. a doctrine that acts are in themselves right or wrong regardless of consequences.
- Logic, Mathematics. a doctrine, which evolved from a proposal of David Hilbert, that mathematics, including the logic used in proofs, can be based on the formal manipulation of symbols without regard to their meaning.
Origin of formalism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for formalistic
In a dry, formalistic way, Primrose asked: "My dear brother, are you prepared for the great change!"Letters of Peregrine Pickle
George P. Upton
Broadly speaking, these divide themselves into two main branches, the Formalistic and the Naturalesque.
The Formalistic schools, led by the Ikenobos, aimed at a classic idealism corresponding to that of the Kano-academicians.
We should like to call this school the Natural in contradistinction to the Naturalesque and Formalistic schools.
- scrupulous or excessive adherence to outward form at the expense of inner reality or content
- the mathematical or logical structure of a scientific argument as distinguished from its subject matter
- the notation, and its structure, in which information is expressed
- theatre a stylized mode of production
- (in Marxist criticism) excessive concern with artistic technique at the expense of social values, etc
- the philosophical theory that a mathematical statement has no meaning but that its symbols, regarded as physical objects, exhibit a structure that has useful applicationsCompare logicism, intuitionism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for formalistic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper