What does "Formal" mean?
(a.) Belonging to the constitution of a thing, as distinguished from the matter composing it; having the power of making a thing what it is; constituent; essential; pertaining to or depending on the forms, so called, of the human intellect (a.) Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing (a.) Dependent in form; conventional (a.) Devoted to, or done in accordance with, forms or rules; punctilious; regular; orderly; methodical; of a prescribed form; exact; prim; stiff; ceremonious; as, a man formal in his dress, his gait, his conversation (a.) Done in due form, or with solemnity; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular; express; as, he gave his formal consent (a.) Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; as, formal duty; formal worship; formal courtesy, etc (a.) Sound; normal (n.) See Methylal
Synonyms perfunctory, nominal, positive, solemn, elegant, dress, conventional, stiff, official, titular, literary, logical, pro forma, schematic, dignified, stately, prescribed, buckram, ceremonial, courtly, starchy, black-tie, ceremonious, nonrepresentational, semiformal, semi-formal, full-dress, white-tie