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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 For·mal·i·ty n.; pl. Formalities
 1. The condition or quality of being formal, strictly ceremonious, precise, etc.
 2. Form without substance.
    Such [books] as are mere pieces of formality, so that if you look on them, you look though them.   --Fuller.
 3. Compliance with formal or conventional rules; ceremony; conventionality.
    Nor was his attendance on divine offices a matter of formality and custom, but of conscience.   --Atterbury.
 4. An established order; conventional rule of procedure; usual method; habitual mode.
    He was installed with all the usual formalities.   --C. Middleton.
 5. pl. The dress prescribed for any body of men, academical, municipal, or sacerdotal. [Obs.]
    The doctors attending her in their formalities as far as Shotover.   --Fuller.
 6. That which is formal; the formal part.
    It unties the inward knot of marriage, . . . while it aims to keep fast the outward formality.   --Milton.
 7. The quality which makes a thing what it is; essence.
    The material part of the evil came from our father upon us, but the formality of it, the sting and the curse, is only by ourselves.    --Jer. Taylor.
    The formality of the vow lies in the promise made to God.   --Bp. Stillingfleet.
 8. Scholastic. Philos. The manner in which a thing is conceived or constituted by an act of human thinking; the result of such an act; as, animality and rationality are formalities.
 

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 formalities
      n : a requirement of etiquette or custom [syn: formality]