formal

Being formal is all about being taken seriously. If you're invited to the White House, you'll want to make a good impression, so it's a good idea to adopt a generally formal demeanor. No jeans or trash talking allowed.

In our casual world, there are still many times we need to be formal, like at weddings or funerals. Adopting a formal manner — i.e., dressing up and not eating with your hands — will help you make a good impression on job interviewers or future in-laws. Being formal doesn't have to mean being stiff or unnatural; it's basically just using good manners and following the rules.

Primary Meanings of formal

1.
adjn
being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)
a lavish dance requiring formal attire
2.
adj
characteristic of or befitting a person in authority
3.
adj
logically deductive
Full Definitions of formal
1

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

“pay one's formal respects”
formal dress”
“a formal ball”
“the requirement was only formal and often ignored”
“a formal education”
Synonyms:
conventional
following accepted customs and proprieties
ceremonial
marked by pomp or ceremony or formality
ceremonious, conventional
rigidly formal or bound by convention
dress, full-dress
(of an occasion) requiring formal clothes
form-only
being a matter of form only; lacking substance
dress, full-dress
suitable for formal occasions
nominal, titular
existing in name only
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
Antonyms:
informal
not formal
casual, daily, everyday
appropriate for ordinary or routine occasions
casual, free-and-easy
natural and unstudied
folksy
very informal and familiar
unceremonial, unceremonious
without ceremony or formality
informal
used of spoken and written language
show more antonyms...

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

“the paper was written in formal English”
Synonyms:
literary
appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing
rhetorical
given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought
Antonyms:
informal
used of spoken and written language
informal
not formal
colloquial, conversational
characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation
common, vernacular, vulgar
being or characteristic of or appropriate to everyday language
epistolary, epistolatory
written in the form of or carried on by letters or correspondence
slangy
constituting or expressed in slang or given to the use of slang
subliterary
not written as or intended to be literature
nonliterary, unliterary
marked by lack of affectation or pedantry
unrhetorical
not rhetorical
show more antonyms...

n a lavish dance requiring formal attire

Synonyms:
ball
Types:
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
Type of:
dance
a party for social dancing

n a gown for evening wear

Synonyms:
dinner dress, dinner gown, evening gown
Type 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
2

adj characteristic of or befitting a person in authority

formal duties”
Synonyms:
official
having official authority or sanction

adj refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court

Synonyms:
courtly, stately
dignified
having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance
3

adj logically deductive

formal proof”
Synonyms:
logical
capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning

adj represented in simplified or symbolic form

Synonyms:
conventional, schematic
nonrepresentational
of or relating to a style of art in which objects do not resemble those known in physical nature

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