• WordNet 3.6
    • n formalism the practice of scrupulous adherence to prescribed or external forms
    • n formalism the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
    • n formalism (philosophy) the philosophical theory that formal (logical or mathematical) statements have no meaning but that its symbols (regarded as physical entities) exhibit a form that has useful applications
    • ***
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
    • n Formalism The practice or the doctrine of strict adherence to, or dependence on, external forms, esp. in matters of religion. "Official formalism ."
    • ***
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 formalism The character of being formal; strict adherence to or observance of prescribed or recognized form, rule, style, etiquette, or the like; excessive attachment to conventional usage, or (especially in religion) to external forms and observances; hence, artificiality or cold stiffness of manner or behavior: as, judicial formalism; formalism in art; the formalism of pedantry or of court life; cold formalism in public worship.
    • n formalism In philos.: The system which denies the existence of matter and recognizes form only; phenomenal idealism.
    • n formalism A belief in the sufficiency of formal logic, especially of the traditional syllogistic, for the purposes of human thought.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Six bulls are killed in a formal bullfight.
    • ns Formalism excessive observance of form or conventional usage, esp. in religion: stiffness of manner
    • ***


  • 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.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. forme—L. forma, shape.


In literature:

The American troops and the civil authorities then marched in and took formal possession.
"Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3." by Benson J. Lossing
That it was the first official or formal function of the new republic mattered little.
"The Loyalist" by James Francis Barrett
In merely formal introductions a bow is enough.
"How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits" by Samuel R Wells
In Lisbon the regency itself tried to stem the storm by giving its formal approval to the measures of the Junta of Oporto.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
This encounter advanced Millard's acquaintance with Phillida more than a dozen calls or conversations in formal society.
"The Faith Doctor" by Edward Eggleston
The deliberations were both formal, so called, and informal.
"The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" by William Milligan Sloane
The council was opened on November 5th, but the meeting was only formal, and no real business was transacted for a month.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07" by Various
In firm, yet somehow muffled tones, he answered the preliminary formal questions.
"Fantômas" by Pierre Souvestre
The completion of reconstruction in its formal sense was reached during Grant's first Congress.
"The New Nation" by Frederic L. Paxson
Accordingly on November 8th, 1821, they made a formal demand upon the executors, the Hon.
"McGill and its Story, 1821-1921" by Cyrus Macmillan

In poetry:

I am the tiger's confidant,
And never mention names:
The lion drops the formal "Sir,"
And lets me call him James.
"The Oneness Of The Philosopher With Nature" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Till, when his guilt was clear as day,
With all formality
They doomed the traitor to be drowned,
And threw him in the sea.
"Of The Dangers Attending Altruism On The High Seas." by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Ye brook no forced and measured tasks,
Nor weary rote, nor formal chains;
The simple heart, that freely asks
In love, obtains.
"The Hermit of Thebaid" by John Greenleaf Whittier
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
For should there come that threatened day,
When creeds shall fade, when faith decay,
And worship shall have ceased,
Then, when all formal guides shall fail,
Mankind will in the Poet hail
A prophet and a priest.
"Poet’s Corner" by Alfred Austin
Forced compliments, and formal bows,
Will show thee just above neglect; The heat with which thy lover glows,
Will settle into cold respect:
A talking dull Platonic I shall turn;
Learn to be civil, when I cease to burn.
"An Ode : While Blooming Youth And Gay Delight" by Matthew Prior

In news:

Redmond O'Neal Formally Released From Court Ordered Rehab.
The younger brother of King Abdullah was in his 80s, and there is no formal method to name a replacement from the sprawling royal family.
New England Formalism at the Currier .
The Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby, England has tabled a formal motion to introduce a "photography code", which would make clear the rights of people to take photographs in public places.
This is not a formal review, but rather an off-the-cuff first-impressions-style riff on a brand-spankin' new DC restaurant.
Youth participants will learn to use proper table manners and utensils correctly, navigate a formal place setting and go through a buffet properly.
93 minutes, Spanish, with English subtitles When a remote village in Argentina formally becomes a town, Hidalgo, a slick, ingratiating scion, is eager to be the new mayor.
Cycling legend Lance Armstrong has been formally accused of doping violations that could strip him of all seven of his Tour de France titles.
You can read about his formal budget request to the Office of Financial Management here and here.
And Canadian Accreditors To Formalize "Substantial Equivalency".
A&M Deal to Outsource Campus Services Formalized .
The Texas A&M University System and a Charlotte-based company have formalized their deal concerning A&M services in Brazos County.
Ran Paul endorsed Mitt Romney for president this week, even though his father Ron Paul has not formally dropped out of the race.
She disliked other manifestations of Mrs Nixon's formal tastes, particularly the choice of stiff furniture, which had replaced the more comfortable Kennedy ambience from the early '60s.
Julian Davis formally kicked off his D5 campaign on June 28.

In science:

Unlike the analyses of the electromagnetic duality mentioned above that start from Lagrangian formalism, Hamiltonian formalism, or directly from equations of motion, in this paper we attempt to give a kind of unified coverage of these topics from another perspective, namely from algebraic approach.
Algebraic Approach to the Duality Symmetry
This is done by showing that a certain differential graded algebra associated to a generalized complex manifold is formal in the generalized K¨ahler case, while it is never formal for a generalized complex structure on a nilpotent Lie algebra.
Formality in generalized Kahler geometry
Given that formality of K¨ahler manifolds is a consequence of the ∂ ∂ -lemma, one might expect that Gualtieri’s result implies formality of generalized K¨ahler manifolds by the same argument from .
Formality in generalized Kahler geometry
In this section we give a lightening review formality for differential graded algebras and recover the well known fact that the DGA associated to a nontrivial nilpotent Lie algebra is not formal.
Formality in generalized Kahler geometry
Definition 3. A DGA A is formal if it has the same minimal model as its cohomology, or equivalently, there is a quasi-isomorphism ψ : M −→ H • (A), where M is the minimal model of A. A manifold M is formal if (Ω• (M ), d) is formal.
Formality in generalized Kahler geometry