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Denotation vs. Connotation

formality

[fawr-mal-i-tee] /fɔrˈmæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural formalities.
1.
condition or quality of being formal; accordance with required or traditional rules, procedures, etc.; conventionality.
2.
rigorously methodical character.
3.
strict adherence to established rules and procedures; rigidity.
4.
observance of form or ceremony.
5.
marked or excessive ceremoniousness.
6.
an established order or method of proceeding:
the formalities of judicial process.
7.
a formal act or observance.
8.
something done merely or mainly for form's sake; a requirement of custom or etiquette:
the formality of a thank-you note.
Origin of formality
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin fōrmālitās. See formal1, -ity
Synonyms
7. rite, ritual, ceremony.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for formalities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her arrival was a check—the formalities of her betrothed's house never failed to upset her.

    Joanna Godden Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • I want to know if there are any formalities to be gone through.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • Both these ladies, moreover, would be very well to do when the people at the War Office had come to an end of their formalities.

    Father Goriot Honore de Balzac
  • One can never tell what delays or formalities there may be.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • After the formalities of our meeting were over the stranger stood for a few moments with his chin resting on his breast.

  • "We might waive the formalities in the interests of justice," purred the Lieutenant.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • Your majesty's word is amply sufficient for me; let Romanzoff and Champagny quarrel about the formalities.

British Dictionary definitions for formalities

formality

/fɔːˈmælɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
a requirement of rule, custom, etiquette, etc
2.
the condition or quality of being formal or conventional
3.
strict or excessive observance of form, ceremony, etc
4.
an established, proper, or conventional method, act, or procedure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for formalities

formality

n.

1530s, "agreement as to form," from Middle French formalité (15c.) or directly from Latin formalis "formal" (see formal). Originally "literary form;" meaning "something done for the sake of form" is from 1590s. Related: Formalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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