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formality

[fawr-mal-i-tee] /fɔrˈmæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural formalities.
1.
condition or quality of being formal; accordance with required or traditional rules, procedures, etc.; conventionality.
2.
rigorously methodical character.
3.
strict adherence to established rules and procedures; rigidity.
4.
observance of form or ceremony.
5.
marked or excessive ceremoniousness.
6.
an established order or method of proceeding:
the formalities of judicial process.
7.
a formal act or observance.
8.
something done merely or mainly for form's sake; a requirement of custom or etiquette:
the formality of a thank-you note.
Origin of formality
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin fōrmālitās. See formal1, -ity
Synonyms
7. rite, ritual, ceremony.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for formality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The only formality is the payment of a few leaves of tobacco to the man who performs the operation.

    The Bontoc Igorot Albert Ernest Jenks
  • For there was no formality at this meal, and people began just when they felt inclined.

    The Green Carnation Robert Smythe Hichens
  • Then the young couple planned to go immediately to Athens without the formality of a honeymoon.

    Across the Mesa Jarvis Hall
  • Platonian welcome had an added chilliness, besides, by reason of its formality.

    Emmy Lou George Madden Martin
  • Her modest look, in striking contrast with the stiffness and formality common to the aristocracy, interested Lord Byron.

British Dictionary definitions for formality

formality

/fɔːˈmælɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
a requirement of rule, custom, etiquette, etc
2.
the condition or quality of being formal or conventional
3.
strict or excessive observance of form, ceremony, etc
4.
an established, proper, or conventional method, act, or procedure
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
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Word Origin and History for formality
n.

1530s, "agreement as to form," from Middle French formalité (15c.) or directly from Latin formalis "formal" (see formal). Originally "literary form;" meaning "something done for the sake of form" is from 1590s. Related: Formalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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