formalism

[ fawr-muh-liz-uhm ]
/ ˈfɔr məˌlɪz əm /

noun

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.

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Origin of formalism

First recorded in 1830–40; formal1 + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM formalism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for formalism

British Dictionary definitions for formalism

formalism
/ (ˈfɔːməˌlɪzəm) /

noun

scrupulous or excessive adherence to outward form at the expense of inner reality or content
  1. the mathematical or logical structure of a scientific argument as distinguished from its subject matter
  2. 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

Derived forms of formalism

formalist, nounformalistic, adjectiveformalistically, adverb
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