• WordNet 3.6
    • n formality compliance with formal rules "courtroom formality"
    • n formality a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies "the formality of his voice made the others pay him close attention"
    • n formality a requirement of etiquette or custom "a mere formality"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first formal rules for playing the sport of baseball required the winning team to score 21 runs
    • Formality An established order; conventional rule of procedure; usual method; habitual mode. "He was installed with all the usual formalities ."
    • Formality Compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony; conventionality. "Nor was his attendance on divine offices a matter of formality and custom, but of conscience."
    • Formality Form without substance. "Such [books] as are mere pieces of formality , so that if you look on them, you look though them."
    • Formality That which is formal; the formal part. "It unties the inward knot of marriage, . . . while it aims to keep fast the outward formality ."
    • Formality The condition or quality of being formal, strictly ceremonious, precise, etc.
    • Formality The dress prescribed for any body of men, academical, municipal, or sacerdotal. "The doctors attending her in their formalities as far as Shotover."
    • Formality (Scholastic. Philos) The manner in which a thing is conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the result of such an act; as, animality and rationality are formalities .
    • Formality The quality which makes a thing what it is; essence. "The material part of the evil came from our father upon us, but the formality of it, the sting and the curse, is only by ourselves.""The formality of the vow lies in the promise made to God."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In July 1981, a tortoise was sentenced to death for murder. Tribal elders in Kyuasini, a village in Kenya, formally condemned the tortoise because they suspected it of causing the death of six people, apparently through magic. However, because none of the villagers was prepared to risk the tortoise's wrath by carrying out the execution, it was instead chained to a tree. The tortoise was later freed after the government promised an official inquiry into the deaths.
    • n formality The condition or quality of being formal; specifically, rigid or undue observance of forms or established rules, as in style, conduct, or procedure; especially, the sacrifice of substance or spirit to form; conventionality.
    • n formality The result of exclusive attention to the rules of art, without life or spontaneity.
    • n formality An established order; a rule of proceeding; a formal mode or method: as, the formalities of judicial process; formalities of law.
    • n formality Validity; binding force.
    • n formality Customary behavior or dress, or customary ceremony; ceremonial.
    • n formality In philosophy, external appearance; formal part.
    • n formality In the philosophy of Duns Scotus, a formal element of being; a quidditative ens, or anything belonging thereto except an intrinsic mode. Examples of formalities are: humanity, asineity, animality, quantity, quality, entity, unity, truth, goodness. Examples of intrinsic modes are: infinity, potentiality, necessity, existence, reality, hæcceity.
    • n formality The character of the formal in the Kantian sense: universality and necessity.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Six bulls are killed in a formal bullfight.
    • Formality the precise observance of forms or ceremonies: established order: sacrifice of substance to form
    • ***


  • Maya Angelou
    “The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.”
  • Ray Kroc
    Ray Kroc
    “While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap.”
  • Paul E. Gray
    Paul E. Gray
    “The most important outcome of education is to help students become independent of formal education.”
  • Jim Rohn
    “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
  • David Grayson
    David Grayson
    “Friendship is neither a formality nor a mode: it is rather a life.”
  • Mark Twain
    “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. formalité,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. forme—L. forma, shape.


In literature:

The border was already unsafe, and formal hostilities on a large scale were close at hand.
"Benjamin Franklin" by John Torrey Morse, Jr.
Then they all gathered round the table, and Mr. Grimes droned out the necessary formalities.
"Agatha's Husband A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)
He was then informed that the House could not permit this formal and gratuitous denial of its authority to pass unnoticed.
"The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1" by John Charles Dent
The formal courtesies of polite society were hollow and tiresome.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
This is done in official letters, both formal and informal.
"How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters)" by Mary Owens Crowther
Certain it is that he would have wasted little time in formal evolutions.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
Full evening dress is a man's costume for a formal dinner.
"The Etiquette of To-day" by Edith B. Ordway
Bad: Commencement is when one formally completes his school course.
"Practical Grammar and Composition" by Thomas Wood
Unlike some of his predecessors, with their sentences of stilted formality, he wrote easily and with vigour.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
The Government supported this resolution in the interests of trade, and formally prohibited the transport of priests.
"The Philippine Islands" by John Foreman

In poetry:

'One far less formal and plain and slow!'
She let the laconic assertion go
As if of need
She held the conviction that it was so.
"A Conversation At Dawn" by Thomas Hardy
Poor Jane had scarce become a wife,
Before her husband sought to make her
The pink of country-polished life,
And prim and formal as a Quaker.
"The Retort." by George Pope Morris
And letters of mere formal phrase
Were blister'd with repeated tears,
And this was not the work of days,
But had gone on for years and years!
"Shadows" by Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton
"If you address a Ghost as 'Thing!'
Or strike him with a hatchet,
He is permitted by the King
To drop all FORMAL parleying -
And then you're SURE to catch it!
"Phantasmagoria Canto II ( Hys Fyve Rules )" by Lewis Carroll
I recollected a great room. The day,
Half dead, lit faintly on the walls the pale
And sudden eyes that showed the formal play
Of woven actors in some curious tale.
"The Ivory Piece" by Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
Why should such labour'd strains
Your formal Muse engage?
I never dreamt of flame or dart,
That fired my breast or pierced my heart,
But sigh'd, "O sweet Anne Page!"
"Slender's Ghost" by William Shenstone

In news:

Along with only three other schools in King County, Briarwood 's efforts were formally recognized Jan 31.
The Choctaw Indian Princess Pageant formally kicked off the fair Wednesday night.
The first Haier blue-flame gas water heater was recently released in the Haier Chongqing Industrial Park, marking a formal commencement of the complex.
Maui hotels and resorts are gearing up to host same-sex couples in Hawaii to formalize their relationships starting New Year's Day.
Lindsey Graham added his voice Tuesday to those calling for the Department of Defense to formally classify the Fort Hood shooting as terrorism, saying that classifying it "workplace violence" is "not fair" to the victims or their families.
I rarely wear lipstick, even at formal events, because the color usually spends more time on my wine glass than on my actual lips.
Canada formally ended its combat role in Afghanistan on Thursday, closing a mission that has cost 157 soldiers their lives since 2002.
Obama formally ends Iraq combat mission .
The filings, one by the defense and one by the prosecution, indicate that a competency hearing for Jared Loughner scheduled in a Tucson federal court for May 25 could largely be a formality.
Now Virginia Tech will formally honor the 32 students and professors.
Tehran and London formalize embassy closures.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has formalized a cooperative agreement with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration for the mutual benefit of hospitality management students from both institutions.
PCI SSC's Wireless Guidelines Formalize Wi-Fi Security Basics.
The United States and Spain today formalized a program that identifies high-risk travelers at Madrid Barajas International Airport before they can board a flight to the United States.
Level 3, IPtimize formalize relationship.

In science:

Lubin-Tate formal group Ff ([Iwa86]) whose equation of formal multiplication by T is equal to f (X ) = )p → UK corresponds to the rational point P∞ T X + X q .
Some remarks on the local class field theory of Serre and Hazewinkel
The Lubin-Tate group Ff for f (X ) = T X + X q is the formal completion bGa of the additive group with formal multiplication of each element P bmT m of OK being given by the power series P bm f ◦m (X ) ∈ End bGa , where f ◦m is the m-th iteration of f .
Some remarks on the local class field theory of Serre and Hazewinkel
Energy arguments are less significant in a Lie random field formalism insofar as the Lie random field formalism is treated more as a block-world model than is conventional perturbative quantum field theory.
Lie random fields
The model defined by (8) and (9) is formally related to the model defined by (11) and (12) through the formal shift P i → P i + ξi with deg(ξ ) = 2 and ξ being a holomorphic (1, 0) form such that Ω = dξ .
On the AKSZ formulation of the Rozansky-Witten theory and beyond
We survey the development of the formal theory of pseudomonads, the analogue for pseudo-monads of the formal theory of monads.
On the coherence conditions for pseudo-distributive laws