Definition of formalize in English:


(also formalise)


  • 1Give (something) legal or formal status:

    ‘a year has elapsed since the marriage was formalized’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For this group within the Bank, RLS could help to authorize and formalize their own methods and strategies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This can grow into a serious authorship dispute, especially if the authorship issues are not formalized before submission.’
    • ‘This also necessitated formalising aspects of our collaboration with various legal documents regarding branding and ownership.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gradually, nurses gained status as training programs were formalized and hospitals were transformed into places of healing.’
    • ‘Approving these minutes formalizes the business of these on-site and telephone meetings.’
    • ‘But I think for that reason, as they both get older, they will want to formalize their marriage.’
    • ‘In a move further designed to encourage false testimony, the camp authorities formalised a system of ‘rewards’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Morton agrees that parents should formalise arrangements with a solicitor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It would have been helpful if the patient had formalized those wishes by signing an advance directive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In August, Pin and Pornsanong signed a memorandum formalizing the deal.’
    • ‘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.’
    ratify, endorse, confirm, approve, agree to, accept, consent to, assent to, affirm, authorize, make valid, sanction, formalize, 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.’