Definition for FORM'AL


  1. According to form; agreeable to established mode; regular; methodical.
  2. Strictly ceremonious; precise; exact to affectation; as, a man formal in his dress, his gait, or deportment.
  3. Done in due form, or with solemnity; express; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular. He gave his formal consent to the treaty.
  4. Regular; methodical; as, the formal stars. Waller.
  5. Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; as, formal duty; formal worship.
  6. Depending on customary forms. Still in constraint your suffering sex remains, / Or bound in formal or in real chains. Pope.
  7. Having the power of making a thing what it is; constituent; essential. Of letters the material part is breath and voice; the formal is constituted by the motions and figure of the organs of speech. Holder.
  8. Retaining its proper and essential characteristic; regular; proper. To make of him a formal man again. Shak.

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