formality Definition

  • 1something that is done in accordance with rules, customs, or conventions, especially in a formal way
  • 2the quality of being formal or conventional

Using formality: Examples

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

  • Example

    The wedding ceremony was full of formalities.

  • Example

    The dress code for the event required a certain level of formality.

  • Example

    He went through the formality of introducing himself.

  • Example

    The meeting began with some formalities.

formality Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for formality

Antonyms for formality

Idioms Using formality

  • go through the formalities

    to perform the necessary actions or procedures, especially those that are required by custom or protocol


    Before starting the interview, the HR representative had to go through the formalities of checking the candidate's credentials.

  • an expression that is used out of politeness or convention, rather than because it reflects one's true feelings or beliefs


    When he said he was sorry, it was just a formality to say; he didn't really care about my feelings.

  • beyond formality

    a situation where something goes beyond what is expected or required, often in a positive way


    The company's customer service went beyond formality, with representatives going out of their way to help customers.

Phrases with formality

  • a procedure that is carried out as a matter of course, without any real intention or purpose


    The apology was just a mere formality; he didn't really mean it.

  • a situation where rules and regulations are followed to the letter, without any deviation or leniency


    The military operates with strict formality, with every action dictated by protocol.

  • social formality

    a convention or custom that is observed in social situations, often related to etiquette or manners


    In some cultures, bowing is a social formality used to show respect.

Origins of formality

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


Summary: formality in Brief

The term 'formality' [fɔːˈmæləti] refers to actions or behaviors that follow established rules, customs, or conventions, often in a formal manner. It can refer to social customs, such as bowing, or to procedural requirements, such as dress codes. Examples include 'The wedding ceremony was full of formalities,' and 'He went through the formality of introducing himself.' Idioms include 'go through the formalities,' and 'a formality to say.'

How do native speakers use this expression?