Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

formality

noun
     
for‧mal‧i‧ty plural formalities
1 [countable usually plural]BP something that you must do as a formal or official part of an activity or process:
the formalities necessary for a valid marriage
2 [countable usually singular] something you must do even though it has no practical importance or effects
just/only/merely etc a formality
Getting a gun license here seems to be just a formality.
3 [uncountable] careful attention to polite behaviour and language in formal situations:
There is always some degree of formality when one speaks to a stranger.
The loan was arranged with little formality.

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