[ fawr-muh-lahyz ]
/ ˈfɔr məˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), for·mal·ized, for·mal·iz·ing.

to make formal, especially for the sake of official or authorized acceptance: to formalize an understanding by drawing up a legal contract.
to give a definite form or shape to.
to state or restate (the rules or implied rules of a grammar or the like) in symbolic form.
Also especially British, for·mal·ise.

Origin of formalize

First recorded in 1590–1600; formal1 + -ize

Related forms

for·mal·i·za·tion, nounfor·mal·iz·er, nouno·ver·for·mal·ize, verb, o·ver·for·mal·ized, o·ver·for·mal·iz·ing.un·for·mal·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for formalise



/ (ˈfɔːməˌlaɪz) /


to be or make formal
(tr) to make official or valid
(tr) to give a definite shape or form to
logic to extract the logical form of (an expression), to express in the symbols of some formal system

Derived Forms

formalization or formalisation, nounformalizer or formaliser, noun
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