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pro forma

When something is done pro forma, it's done purely as a formality. When the person conducting a wedding ceremony asks if anyone has an objection to the marriage, just keep quiet. That question is strictly pro forma.

Pro forma is a Latin term meaning “as a matter of form” or “for the sake of form.” If you do something pro forma, you are probably not giving it much attention; you are just going through the motions. Pro forma actions are formalities, which means they don’t have much practical value, but they must be done because that’s how they’ve always been done. A pro forma session of Congress has more to do with following the rules than with getting anything done.

Definitions of pro forma
  1. adverb
    in a set manner without serious attention
    “they answered my letter pro forma
    synonyms: as a formality, perfunctorily
  2. adjective
    as a formality only
    “a one-candidate pro forma election”
    synonyms: perfunctory
    formal
    being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)
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