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.

Definitions of formal
  1. adjective
    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
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    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
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  2. adjective
    (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
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    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
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  3. noun
    a lavish dance requiring formal attire
    synonyms: ball
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    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
  4. noun
    a gown for evening wear
    synonyms: dinner dress, dinner gown, evening gown
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    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
  5. adjective
    characteristic of or befitting a person in authority
    formal duties”
    Synonyms:
    official
    having official authority or sanction
  6. adjective
    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
  7. adjective
    logically deductive
    formal proof”
    Synonyms:
    logical
    capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning
  8. adjective
    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
Word Family