formal Definition

  • 1following or belonging to the established form or custom, or conventional usage
  • 2suitable for or constituting an official or important occasion
  • 3having a very correct style and manners

Using formal: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "formal" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The wedding was a formal occasion, with everyone dressed in their best attire.

  • Example

    He gave a formal apology for his behavior at the meeting.

  • Example

    The company has a formal dress code policy.

  • Example

    The president's formal address was broadcasted on national television.

formal Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for formal

Antonyms for formal

Phrases with formal

  • education that is structured and follows a specific curriculum, often leading to a degree or certification


    She pursued formal education in law and became a successful attorney.

  • clothing that is appropriate for formal occasions, such as a tuxedo or evening gown


    The invitation specified that the dress code was formal wear.

  • language that is used in formal situations, such as academic writing or legal documents, characterized by its precision and lack of colloquialisms


    The contract was written in formal language to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Origins of formal

from Latin 'formalis', meaning 'of a form'


Summary: formal in Brief

The term 'formal' [ˈfɔːməl] refers to following established customs or conventions, suitable for official or important occasions, and characterized by correct style and manners. Examples include formal education, formal wear, and formal language. Antonyms include informal and casual.

How do native speakers use this expression?