American English

Definition of formality noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. formalities)
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  1. 1[countable, usually plural] a thing that you must do as a formal or official part of a legal process, a social situation, etc. to go through all the formalities necessary in order to get a gun license Let's skip the formalities and get down to business.
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] a thing that you must do as part of an official process, but that has little meaning and will not affect what happens He already knows he has the job, so the interview is a mere formality.
  3. 3[uncountable] correct and formal behavior Different levels of formality are appropriate in different situations. She greeted him with stiff formality.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: formality