- formality for‧mal‧i‧ty [fɔːˈmælti ǁ fɔːr-] noun formalities PLURALFORM [countable usually plural] LAW1. something formal or official that you have to do so that a process can be completed properly:
• immigration and customs formalities
• Certain formalities have to be completed before the legal transfer can take effect.2. a formality something that has to be done for official reasons but will not have any real effect on something that has already been planned or agreed:
• It will only be a formality to renew the agreement on a long-term basis.
• Although the sale still requires the approval of the Chinese government, such approval is a mere formality.
* * *formality UK US /fɔːˈmæləti/ noun (plural formalities)► [C] something official that must be done before something else can happen or be done: »
It is essential to observe all the formalities when setting up a business.complete/go through the formalities (of sth) »
This should be a means of injecting share capital into a company without going through the formalities of a share issue.»
Approval of the documents is a legal formality.► [C, usually singular] something that must be done but that is unlikely to affect an agreement that has already been made: little more than/only/merely a formality »
There are still some details to be sorted out, but I believe it's only a formality.»
Background checks often are a mere formality in the hiring process.► [U] formal writing, behaviour, etc. that is suitable in important or official situations: »
The bank says its business overdrafts are arranged with a minimum of formality and fuss.
Financial and business terms. 2012.