2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Formality \For*mal"i*ty\, noun; pl. {Formalities}. [Cf. F. formalit['e].]

1. The condition or quality of being formal, strictly ceremonious, precise, etc.

2. Form without substance.

Such [books] as are mere pieces of formality, so that if you look on them, you look though them. --Fuller.

3. Compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony; conventionality.

Nor was his attendance on divine offices a matter of formality and custom, but of conscience. --Atterbury.

4. An established order; conventional rule of procedure; usual method; habitual mode.

He was installed with all the usual formalities. --C. Middleton.

5. pl. The dress prescribed for any body of men, academical, municipal, or sacerdotal. [Obs.]

The doctors attending her in their formalities as far as Shotover. --Fuller.

6. That which is formal; the formal part.

It unties the inward knot of marriage, . . . while it aims to keep fast the outward formality. --Milton.

7. The quality which makes a thing what it is; essence.

The material part of the evil came from our father upon us, but the formality of it, the sting and the curse, is only by ourselves. --Jer. Taylor.

The formality of the vow lies in the promise made to God. --Bp. Stillingfleet.

8. (Scholastic. Philos.) The manner in which a thing is conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the result of such an act; as, animality and rationality are formalities.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: a requirement of etiquette or custom; "a mere formality" [syn: {formality}, {formalities}]

2: a manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies; "the formality of his voice made the others pay him close attention" [syn: {formality}, {formalness}] [ant: {informality}]

3: compliance with formal rules; "courtroom formality"

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