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Audio English.org » Dictionary » F » Forgetful ... Formicate

FORMAL

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does formal mean? 

FORMAL (noun)
  The noun FORMAL has 2 senses:

1. a lavish dance requiring formal attire
2. a gown for evening wear

  Familiarity information: FORMAL used as a noun is rare.


FORMAL (adjective)
  The adjective FORMAL has 6 senses:

1. being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)
2. characteristic of or befitting a person in authority
3. (of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms
4. represented in simplified or symbolic form
5. logically deductive
6. refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court

  Familiarity information: FORMAL used as an adjective is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


FORMAL (noun)


Sense 1formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A lavish dance requiring formal attire

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural events

Synonyms:

formal; ball

Hypernyms ("formal" is a kind of...):

dance (a party for social dancing)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "formal"):

cotilion; cotillion (a ball at which young ladies are presented to society)

fancy-dress ball; masked ball; masquerade ball (a ball at which guests wear costumes and masks)

prom; promenade (a formal ball held for a school class toward the end of the academic year)


Sense 2formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A gown for evening wear

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Synonyms:

dinner dress; dinner gown; evening gown; formal

Hypernyms ("formal" is a kind of...):

evening clothes; evening dress; eveningwear; formalwear (attire to wear on formal occasions in the evening)

gown (a woman's dress, usually with a close-fitting bodice and a long flared skirt, often worn on formal occasions)


FORMAL (adjective)


Sense 1formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)

Context examples:

pay one's formal respects / formal dress / a formal ball / the requirement was only formal and often ignored / a formal education

Similar:

positive; prescribed (formally laid down or imposed)

perfunctory; pro forma (as a formality only)

black-tie; semi-formal; semiformal (moderately formal; requiring a dinner jacket)

buckram; starchy; stiff (rigidly formal)

white-tie (requiring white ties and tailcoats for men)

nominal; titular (existing in name only)

dress; full-dress (suitable for formal occasions)

form-only (being a matter of form only; lacking substance)

dress; full-dress ((of an occasion) requiring formal clothes)

ceremonious; conventional (rigidly formal or bound by convention)

ceremonial (marked by pomp or ceremony or formality)

Also:

conventional (following accepted customs and proprieties)

formal ((of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms)

Attribute:

formality; formalness (a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies)

Antonym:

informal (not formal)


Sense 2formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Characteristic of or befitting a person in authority

Context examples:

formal duties / an official banquet

Similar:

official (having official authority or sanction)


Sense 3formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of spoken and written language) adhering to traditional standards of correctness and without casual, contracted, and colloquial forms

Context example:

the paper was written in formal English

Similar:

literary (appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing)

Also:

rhetorical (concerned with effect or style of writing and speaking)

formal (being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress))

Attribute:

formality; formalness (a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies)

Antonym:

informal (used of spoken and written language)


Sense 4formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Represented in simplified or symbolic form

Synonyms:

schematic; formal; conventional

Similar:

nonrepresentational (of or relating to a style of art in which objects do not resemble those known in physical nature)

Domain category:

beaux arts; fine arts (the study and creation of visual works of art)


Sense 5formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Logically deductive

Context example:

formal proof

Similar:

logical (capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning)


Sense 6formal [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court

Synonyms:

courtly; stately; formal

Context example:

a courtly gentleman

Similar:

dignified (having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance)


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 FORMAL: related words searches 

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