To formalize something is to give it an official kind of status, like when you formalize an agreement by signing a contract.

Two people can formalize their love and commitment to each other by getting married, and your grandparents can formalize their plan to leave their money to a certain charity by writing a will. In fact, one good way to formalize almost anything is to draw up a legal document. This verb comes from formal and its root that means "a shape or a form."

Definitions of formalize
  1. verb
    make formal or official
    “We formalized the appointment and gave him a title”
    synonyms: formalise
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    ritualise, ritualize
    make or evolve into a ritual
    type of:
    adjudge, declare, hold
    declare to be
  2. verb
    declare or make legally valid
    synonyms: formalise, validate
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    annihilate, annul, avoid, invalidate, nullify, quash, void
    declare invalid
    ratify, sign
    approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation
    co-sign, cosign
    sign jointly
    establish the legal validity of (wills and other documents)
    type of:
    authorise, authorize, clear, pass
    grant authorization or clearance for
Word Family

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