1 action that is necessary according to custom/law
ADJ. mere, simple Your acceptance into the club will be a mere formality. | customs, immigration, legal
VERB + FORMALITY complete, deal with, go through It only took a few minutes to complete the legal formalities. | dispense with Let's dispense with the formalities and get down to work.
PHRASES just/merely/only a formality She was clearly the best candidate for the job, so her interview was just a formality.
2 polite formal behaviour
ADJ. cold, cool, icy, stiff
QUANT. degree, level It is important to be aware of the level of formality required at any social function.
VERB + FORMALITY maintain She preferred to maintain a cool formality in her dealings with her manager.