From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishformalform‧al1 /ˈfɔːməl $ ˈfɔːr-/ ●●● S2 W2 adjective 1 PGofficial [usually before noun] made or done officially or publicly opp informal formal recognition of the reformed church a formal agreement between the countries There is no formal structure for negotiating pay increases.make/lodge a formal complaint Mr Kelly has lodged a formal complaint against the police.2 POLITEbehaviour formal behaviour is very polite, and is used in official or important situations, or with people you do not know well opp informal Over the years, teaching methods have changed and become less formal.3 SLlanguage formal language is used in official or serious situations opp informal ‘Yours sincerely’ is a formal way of ending a letter.4 DPOLITEevent/occasion a formal event is important, and people who go to it wear special clothes and behave very politely opp informal I’ve met her twice but only on formal occasions. a formal dinner5 clothes formal dress is clothing such as a tuxedo for men or a long dress for women, that is worn to formal events opp casual, informal We insist on formal dress for dinner.6 → formal education/training/qualifications7 organized done in a very organized way opp informal The course includes formal lectures.8 garden/park a formal garden, park, or room is arranged in a very organized way opp informal the palace’s beautifully restored formal gardens → formally
Examples from the Corpusformal• What should I call your mom? "Mrs. Dunlap" seems too formal.• His parents are very formal.• A formal agreement between the two countries was signed in 1999.• A lot of people found my father rather formal and aloof, particularly when they first met him.• a formal announcement• The need for formal assessment has already been conceded by teachers.• A formal ceremony was held to celebrate the anniversary of his death.• They filed a formal complaint.• Fifteen formal complaints have been made about the hospital in the past year.• a formal dance• On July 19th a formal declaration of war was made.• You shouldn't use "Yours faithfully" - it's much too formal for this kind of letter.• Our boss is very formal - he doesn't call anyone by their first name.• The class includes formal lectures as well as field trips.• She wrote a formal letter of application for the job.• It's time for formal manners to be used again in the workplace.• San Francisco has had a formal needle exchange throughout the 1990s.• The cognitive capabilities of the adolescent with fully developed formal operations are qualitatively equal to those of the adult.• Paris has a number of beautiful formal parks.• Her lawyers have made a formal request that she be allowed to stay in the country until her husband's trial.• The aim was to have as few restrictive, formal rules as possible - to make this a genuinely open show.• A large minority favors formal separation.• Some theories are more formal than others.• The principal advantage of such a requirement is that it signals, in a formal way, that the procedure is under way.• men's formal wearmake/lodge a formal complaint• Family of police chase victim make a formal complaint.• Yesterday Mr Dixon confirmed he had made a formal complaint about Mr Fallon based on information received from another member.• The detainee can make a formal complaint after release, but this offers little solace to the aggrieved individual.• If Sidacai cared to lodge a formal complaint, the jailers would suffer punishment. probably he would not complain.• But her family have now lodged a formal complaint with the Police Complaints Authority which is to investigate.formal occasions• It is sung at family celebrations like this one, but also at more formal occasions.• Or rather, they photograph you only on formal occasions: birthdays, weddings, Christmas.• Hence peace-makings were solemn and formal occasions, committing groups of people to restraint.• The rules are most useful on formal occasions like weddings, and particularly when they happen only once in a lifetime.