Definition of formalize in English:


(also formalise)


  • 1Give (something) legal or formal status.

    ‘a year has elapsed since the marriage was formalized’
    • ‘Morton agrees that parents should formalise arrangements with a solicitor.’
    • ‘A letter of understanding dated 27th October 1998 was signed between the company and a third party and on 19th October 1999 a deed of assignment was signed to formalise this letter of understanding.’
    • ‘A legal search is under way to formalise ownership of the property, which was built in 1806 by Pierce Barron of Faha to help educate the poor of the parish.’
    • ‘It is very important to understand that the rituals and ceremonies carried out must be recognised and accepted by the community concerned as being the proper ones for formalising a marriage.’
    • ‘It would have been helpful if the patient had formalized those wishes by signing an advance directive.’
    • ‘But I think for that reason, as they both get older, they will want to formalize their marriage.’
    • ‘That local authorities seek to formalise such choices shows their curious understanding of democratic engagement, as complicating, regulating and ratifying simple day-to-day decisions.’
    • ‘For this group within the Bank, RLS could help to authorize and formalize their own methods and strategies.’
    • ‘This also necessitated formalising aspects of our collaboration with various legal documents regarding branding and ownership.’
    • ‘The civil union legislation exists because the Marriage Act as it was - the only basis to formalise the legal status of relationships - was vulnerable to human rights complaints.’
    • ‘Gradually, nurses gained status as training programs were formalized and hospitals were transformed into places of healing.’
    • ‘This can grow into a serious authorship dispute, especially if the authorship issues are not formalized before submission.’
    • ‘In August, Pin and Pornsanong signed a memorandum formalizing the deal.’
    • ‘Approving these minutes formalizes the business of these on-site and telephone meetings.’
    • ‘Mechanisms for formalizing occupation rights were specified in twentieth century legal codes and the 1967 constitution, which recognized the right of every citizen to a plot of land.’
    • ‘In a move further designed to encourage false testimony, the camp authorities formalised a system of ‘rewards’.’
    • ‘I recognise that the legal action we took in September in order to formalise our agreement with Tracy created an unfortunate and regrettable public dispute.’
    • ‘The deal, which was signed last Friday, formalized the four parties' plan to form a strategic alliance that they entered into under a memorandum of understanding last October.’
    • ‘Hence, the third proposal: Take records seriously and implement certification systems to formalize them, taking special notice of the promises you must make to succeed.’
    • ‘Besides formalizing the legal equality of women, such a ruling could help fortify the resolve of police who must invariably come to the women's aid and repel acts of aggression.’
    ratify, endorse, confirm, approve, agree to, accept, consent to, assent to, affirm, authorize, make valid, sanction, recognize, legalize, legitimize, warrant, license, certify
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  • 2Give a definite structure or shape to.

    ‘we became able to formalize our thoughts’
    • ‘An even halfway adept filmmaker would interpret and shape such footage, formalize and comment upon it.’