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

v make formal or official

“We formalized the appointment and gave him a title”
ritualise, ritualize
make or evolve into a ritual
Type of:
adjudge, declare, hold
declare to be

v declare or make legally valid

formalise, validate
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

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