formalform‧al1 /ˈfɔːməl $ ˈfɔːr-/ ●●●S2W2 adjective1PGofficial [usually before noun] made or done officially or publicly opp informalformal recognition of the reformed churcha formal agreement between the countriesThere is no formal structure for negotiating pay increases.make/lodge a formal complaintMr Kelly has lodged a formal complaint against the police.2POLITEbehaviourformalbehaviour is very polite, and is used in official or important situations, or with people you do not know well opp informalOver the years, teaching methods have changed and become less formal.3SLlanguage formal language is used in official or serious situations opp informal‘Yours sincerely’ is a formal way of ending a letter.4DPOLITEevent/occasion a formal event is important, and people who go to it wearspecialclothes and behave very politely opp informalI’ve met her twice but only on formal occasions.a formal dinner5clothes formal dress is clothing such as a tuxedo for men or a long dress for women, that is worn to formal events opp casual, informalWe insist on formal dress for dinner.6 →formal education/training/qualifications7organized done in a very organized way opp informalThe course includes formal lectures.8garden/park a formal garden, park, or room is arranged in a very organized way opp informalthe palace’s beautifully restored formal gardens →formally
formalformal2 noun [countable] American English1Da dance at which you have to wear formal clothes2DCCan expensive and usually long dress that women wear on formal occasions
Examples from the Corpus
formal• A tangerine-and-lime brocadeformal in perfectcondition comes to mind.• And the women were in their formals and they all sat down and there was not a laugh in the entire show.• The school is holding a winterformal.From Longman Business Dictionaryformalfor‧mal /ˈfɔːməlˈfɔːr-/ adjectivedone or given officially and publiclyThe companies said they expect to sign a formal agreement before year’s end.No formal announcement has yet been made.The British authorities have decided to launch a formal investigation into the company’s trading practices. —formally adverbThe merger was formally announced late yesterday afternoon.