Definition of formally in English:

formally

adverb

  • 1In accordance with convention or etiquette:

    ‘he was formally attired’
    • ‘You were rather formally attired, wearing a velvet dress that would have been appropriate for a concert stage.’
    • ‘Today's students also appear more formally dressed and conservative-looking these days.’
    • ‘If you are doing something in a formal manner, you are behaving formally; but if you previously behaved differently, you did so formerly.’
    • ‘Should the MPs dress formally and meet indoors, showing that they were a professional, hard-working coalition?’
    • ‘When I'm referring to it and to its predecessors more formally I use the term ‘notebook’.’
    • ‘I think that the reason he took the trouble to dress formally is because he had a great regard for etiquette.’
    • ‘The room's tables, nevertheless, slowly filled with students, many clothed formally in dresses, suits and ties.’
    • ‘He was formally attired in brown breeches and a white silk shirt accompanied by a deep blue waistcoat.’
    • ‘Paired with a tie, a pocket square tends to make a man look more formally attired.’
    • ‘He apologised for not wearing a suit, but quickly made it clear that he was more formally attired than his normal dress of a T-shirt.’
  • 2Officially:

    ‘the Mayor will formally open the new Railway Centre’
    • ‘It is not clear whether judgment was formally entered in accordance with the terms of settlement.’
    • ‘In December of 1946, a grand jury was convened to decide formally whether to charge the suspects and try them.’
    • ‘If we opened the border more formally, many more people would come.’
    • ‘The building will not formally be opened for another few weeks but the organisers of last night's premiere managed to hire it out for the occasion.’
    • ‘This decision was formally incorporated in the Convention by amendment the following year.’
    • ‘Early in 1990, our institute formally opened to foreign volunteers.’
    • ‘To date no one has been formally charged in the case.’
    • ‘The coroner will formally open and adjourn the inquest today in Salisbury.’
    • ‘At present most services are only open to men formally charged with assault.’
    • ‘The Commission said that, of the 19 alleged breaches, a case had been formally opened for 14 and five were still at the enquiries stage.’
    • ‘He added the minister had formally approved the inquiry.’
    • ‘The case was not formally opened and details of the incident will be revealed at the next hearing.’
    • ‘The UK's ratification of the convention formally takes effect next month.’
    • ‘Stalling for two days in hopes that the British fleet might appear, he formally surrendered on 19 October.’
    • ‘The new prime minister-designate is to formally become prime minister after obtaining parliamentary endorsement.’
    • ‘The prime minister formally declared the country to be suffering from serious famine.’
    • ‘But those countries have not formally passed laws that contradict the convention.’
    • ‘The mound and the historic mosaic are due to be formally opened in July.’
    • ‘The judge noted the respondent's objection to reliance on this passage but does not appear to have formally ruled on it.’
    • ‘The MP was in town to formally open the station yesterday following the completion of a £9 million project.’
  • 3[sentence adverb] In outward form or appearance:

    ‘formally, ministers are responsible to the monarch’
    • ‘On the other hand, the statute may upon its true construction merely require an act which appears formally valid and has not been quashed by judicial review.’
    • ‘The decision to dissolve Parliament or appoint Cabinet ministers is formally exercised by the monarch, who acts on the Prime Minister's advice.’
    1. 3.1 In terms of form or structure:
      ‘formally complex types of text’
      • ‘The permanent element, with its symbolic entrance bridge and pylon, proclaimed itself structurally and formally by a group of six roof towers.’
      • ‘All the movements spring from their own generative musical cell, and elaborate that germ into a formally complete and rounded whole.’
      • ‘Sophocles' play was for Aristotle an exemplary tragedy, both formally, in terms of unity of action, and in its tragic story.’
      • ‘In each of the 12 sonatas the first movement is the more formally complex and more classical of the two.’
      • ‘This is apparent both formally in the materials of the sculpture and in terms of the testimonies she has collected.’
      • ‘Single forms are formally complete and tonally self-contained and are not divisible into smaller units.’
      • ‘The term alkyl refers to the hydrocarbon functional group derived formally by the loss of a hydrogen atom from the alkane.’

Pronunciation

formally

/ˈfɔːməli/