Definition of formalism noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

formalism

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈfɔːməlɪzəm//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrməlɪzəm//
 
[uncountable] Styles of art
 
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a style or method in art, music, literature, science, etc. that pays more attention to the rules and the correct arrangement and appearance of things than to inner meaning and feelings The defence of formalism is always that it serves to control an excess of feeling. See related entries: Styles of art
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: formalism