formal meaning, formal definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Search also in: Web News Encyclopedia Images


  ( formals    plural  )
1       adj   Formal speech or behaviour is very correct and serious rather than relaxed and friendly, and is used especially in official situations.,   (Antonym: informal)    He wrote a very formal letter of apology to Douglas..., Business relationships are necessarily a bit more formal.     
  formally      adv   ADV with v  
He took her back to Vincent Square in a taxi, saying goodnight formally on the doorstep.     
  formality      n-uncount  
Lillith's formality and seriousness amused him.     
2       adj   A formal action, statement, or request is an official one.  
ADJ n     (Antonym: informal)    UN officials said a formal request was passed to American authorities..., No formal announcement had been made.     
  formally      adv   ADV with v  
Diplomats haven't formally agreed to Anderson's plan...     
3       adj   Formal occasions are special occasions at which people wear smart clothes and behave according to a set of accepted rules.  
usu ADJ n     (Antonym: informal)    One evening the film company arranged a formal dinner after the play.     
      Formal is also a noun., n-count  
...a wide array of events, including school formals and speech nights, weddings, and balls.     
4       adj   Formal clothes are very smart clothes that are suitable for formal occasions.  
ADJ n     (Antonym: informal, casual)    They wore ordinary ties instead of the more formal high collar and cravat.     
  formally      adv   ADV after v, ADV -ed  
It was really too warm for her to dress so formally.     
5       adj   Formal education or training is given officially, usually in a school, college, or university.  
ADJ n  
Leroy didn't have any formal dance training.     
  formally      adv   ADV -ed  
Mr Dawe was the ancient, formally trained head gardener.     
Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary  


1    approved, ceremonial, explicit, express, fixed, lawful, legal, methodical, official, prescribed, pro forma, regular, rigid, ritualistic, set, solemn, strict  
2    affected, aloof, ceremonious, conventional, correct, exact, precise, prim, punctilious, reserved, starched, stiff, unbending  
   casual, easy-going, informal, laid-back     (informal)   relaxed, unceremonious, unofficial  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

! Informal adj.
Not Formal. Example: Her informal demeanor at the galla struck everyone as irresponsible.

Additional comments:

To ensure the quality of comments, you need to be connected. It’s easy and only takes a few seconds
Or Sign up/login to Reverso account

Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
A formal word that is put in the beginning of sentence that has a similar meaning to furthermore, therefore, and from now on
I like ice-cream; Hence, I have lots of ice-cream cups in my fridge
1. the art of public speaking in which gesture, vocal production, and delivery are emphasized 2.the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone.
participant-driven meeting with no predefined agenda as opposed to high-price, top-down and formal conferences
albeit although, even if, even though, notwithstanding that, tho' (U.S. or poetic) though <You use albeit to introduce a fact or comment which reduces the force or significance of what you have just said. FORMAL adv ADV with cl/group (=although)
Charles's letter was indeed published, albeit in a somewhat abbreviated form.
To add entries to your own vocabulary, become a member of Reverso community or login if you are already a member. It's easy and only takes a few seconds:
Or sign up in the traditional way