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Houghton Mifflin

for·mal  audio  (fôrml) KEY 

ADJECTIVE:
    1. Relating to or involving outward form or structure.
    2. Being or relating to essential form or constitution: a formal principle.
    1. Following or being in accord with accepted forms, conventions, or regulations: had little formal education; went to a formal party.
    2. Executed, carried out, or done in proper or regular form: a formal reprimand; a formal document.
    1. Characterized by strict or meticulous observation of forms; methodical: very formal in their business transactions.
    2. Stiffly ceremonious: a formal manner; a formal greeting; a formal bow to the monarch.
  1. Having the outward appearance but lacking in substance: a formal requirement that is usually ignored.
NOUN:
Something, such as a gown or social affair, that is formal in nature.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English, from Latin frmlis, from frma, shape

OTHER FORMS:
formal·ly(Adverb), formal·ness(Noun)


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